Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta has been on the radar of Barcelona in the summer transfer market after his contract expired in Stamford Bridge.
Following the expiration, Azpilicueta at the close of last season believed that his time in London was up and decided to seek a new challenge in his home country.
Reluctantly, the Spaniard had met with the Catalans, who needed the defender to pose a challenge to Jordi Abba in the right-back position while Chelsea were busy battling how to bolster their defensive structure.
Recall that at the close of last season, Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen left the club during the summer window on a free transfer to Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively which provided loopholes in the club’s defense.
Azpilicueta needed to follow soothe having won all trophies with the club and with a new owner taking over, it was the right time to receive the warm embrace of Barcelona.
Reportedly, it was as though the 32-year-old was already in Camp Nou but in a swift twist of event, he signed a two-year contract to commit his future to the club and this startled the Catalans.
“I’m very excited, otherwise I wouldn’t have signed,” he said after the hard fought victory at Goodison Park.
“The new owners wanted me to stay here to lead the team, both on and off the field. I am very grateful to them. They were very honest and transparent from day one. I felt a responsibility to stay here at home,” Azpilicueta added.
He continued: “After the Club World Cup, where I became the only player to win all the trophies, I felt it was time to return to Spain. But then everything happened with this club. I wanted to stay committed. Never did I do anything against Chelsea. We had private conversations where I said everything.
“for a period I was a free agent and who knows what could have happened then? I decided to stay quiet because there was already enough noise around me. I didn’t want to make things worse because I wanted to focus on my game,” the Chelsea captain said.
Azpilicueta joined Chelsea in 2012 from Marseille and has featured in 332 Premier League matches where he has lifted two Premier League titles, coupled with 10 goals and 40 assists.