Athletic Club to target Chelsea’s Cesar Azpilicueta ahead of summer transfer

The Tuchel shake up

The arrival of Thomas Tuchel at Chelsea is likely to see a rather large shake-up of personnel in the upcoming summer transfer window.

Chelsea have already moved in the previous summer to bring in an expensive amount of talent with several players signing for significant fees and players moving on in addition to the typical loan system which the club has conducted over and beyond the past decade. Tuchel has already spoken of his excitement at joining the club as he sets to work with his new team.

“My life was turned upside down in the past three days or so! It feels amazing to the new head coach of Chelsea and I’m really excited to be here. Me and my staff had the feeling that this was too good an opportunity not to take and personally I felt this was a chance I could not let go away,” he said.

Thomas Tuchel

LOTTE, GERMANY – MARCH 14: Thomas Tuchel head coach of of Borussia Dortmund before the DFB Cup quarter final between Sportfreunde Lotte and Borussia Dortmund at Sportpark am Lotter Kreuz on March 14, 2017 in Lotte, Germany. (Photo by Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty Images)

“We could not miss this opportunity to be part of this club and to be part of the Chelsea family. To work with this squad and compete in the toughest league in the Premier League and of course the Champions League is something we are excited to take on.”

“I met with the team yesterday and worked with them last night, so it was good to get straight to work and we are ready for a difficult game tonight. I’m super happy to be here and really excited to get to work.”

There is an expectation that his work with his compatriots Timo Werner and Kai Havertz will be more successful that what Frank Lampard was able to to acheive.

Azpilicueta moving on

The future of many Chelsea players will therefore be in doubt and there are already indications that some are planning moves out of the club including the long-serving defender Cesar Azpilicueta.

He arrived at Chelsea in 2012 from Marseille and has made a significant impact at the club, winning two Premier League titles, an FA Cup, League Cup and two Europa Leagues.

He has been a versatile player for the West London Club playing in the right and left back positions in addition to an unorthodox centre-back at times. His consistency and leadership for the club earned him the position of club captain. Now though, it appears his time at Chelsea is nearing its end.

Athletic Club in Bilbao are reportedly targeting the defender. Azpilicueta is of Basque descent and therefore fulfils the criteria of the Spanish side. Athletic have been known for the policy of only signing Basque players. The relationship between the clubs exists through the sale of Kepa Arrizabalaga to Chelsea previously.

With the contract of Bayern defender Javi Martinez expiring at the end of the season, he too could join Athletic who he left for Bayern in 2012.

Athletic Club to target Chelsea's Cesar Azpilicueta ahead of summer transfer

MUNICH, GERMANY – FEBRUARY 19: Javi Martinez of FC Bayern Muenchen is pictured during a single training session at Saebener Strasse training ground on February 19, 2020 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by A. Beier/Getty Images for FC Bayern)

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