Cesar Azpilicueta has committed his future to Chelsea by extending his Blues contract until 2024.
The Chelsea captain has added another two years to his west London stay, thwarting Barcelona’s long-running pursuit of the 32-year-old.
The Spain full-back joined Chelsea from Marseille in 2012 and has swept the board of major club trophies since, with the 2021 Champions League and 2022 Club World Cup completing the set.
The long-serving defender automatically triggered a one-year addition to his Chelsea deal at the back-end of last term, but has now committed to a more lasting extension to his Stamford Bridge tenure.
Boss Thomas Tuchel was understood to be determined to retain Azpilicueta in light of Toni Rudiger and Andreas Christensen’s departures, especially given his leadership and influence at the Blues.
“I am really happy to extend my stay at Chelsea, my home,” said Azpilicueta. “It is almost 10 years since I first arrived and joined the club, so I really feel the love and I am really excited for the new project we have in our hands.
“I would like to say thank you to (Chelsea owners) Todd (Boehly) and Behdad (Eghbali) for giving me the opportunity to keep my journey at this amazing club and I am really looking forward to continuing our adventure.
“I am a really proud captain and I hope we can share many good memories together.”
Azpilicueta’s decision to commit to Chelsea will prove a major boost to Tuchel, with the Blues continuing to reshape both their defence and overall squad.
Kalidou Koulibaly’s arrival adds genuine quality, steel and nous at centre-back, but Azpilicueta’s leadership and Premier League experience remain highly-prized commodities by Tuchel.
Chelsea will continue to push to sign Marc Cucurella from Brighton, with Levi Colwill still likely to head in the other direction, either on loan or permanently.
The Blues are understood to harbour interest in Southampton’s Kyle Walker-Peters too.
Leicester’s Wesley Fofana is another target for Chelsea, but the Foxes’ valuation could prove prohibitive.
Azpilicueta’s new deal will relieve an edge of pressure on the Blues’ recruitment, especially if Marcos Alonso goes on to complete his own long-mooted move to Barcelona later this summer.
“We are so happy that Cesar is staying at Chelsea for a minimum of two more years,” said Chelsea chairman and co-controlling owner Boehly.
“We are thrilled with our captain showing his exemplary commitment and leadership yet again. There is still so much to do together.”
Essential Football: Premier League 2022/23 season preview
The Premier League is back – with a World Cup twist in the middle of it – and in this special preview podcast we take a look at how the 20 teams are shaping up for a mammoth campaign.
Ron Walker is joined by Sky Sports senior football journalists Peter Smith and Oliver Yew as well as football writer and EFL expert Dan Long to run the rule over new signings, familiar faces and the battles set to play out at both ends of the table.
Plus we sit down with Sky Sports presenter David Jones to find out what life is like on set with the game’s biggest names in punditry.
Part One | The Big Six have been busy this summer with significant changes taking place at all of the top sides. Champions Man City and their nearest rivals last season, Liverpool, have both signed superstar strikers, while Tottenham, Arsenal and Manchester United are optimistic about their chances – but is there trouble ahead for Chelsea?
Part Two | We get the lowdown on the three new arrivals in the Premier League, Fulham, Bournemouth and Nottingham Forest and try to work out which teams will emerge from the pack to spring a surprise.
Part Three | We go behind the scenes with Sky Sports presenter David Jones to hear his stories from the studio ahead of another blockbuster season on screen.
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