— César Azpilicueta (@CesarAzpi) June 8, 2016
Manchester United are amongst the three clubs interested in signing Chelsea full-back Cesar Azpilicueta, according to AS.
Azpilicueta joined Chelsea from French club Marseille in the summer of 2012, for a fee of around £6.5 million. The Spaniard became an absolute favourite of Jose Mourinho upon the Portuguese’s arrival, and managed to establish himself as the Blues’ first choice left-back, despite originally being a right-back whilst graduating from Osasuna’s youth academy.
The 26-year-old became immovable from Chelsea’s defence, thereby keeping the likes of Filipe Luis – the star left-back Chelsea signed from Atletico Madrid for £15.8 million – out on the bench. Under Mourinho, Azpilicueta played some of the best football of his career, becoming one of the best full-backs in the Premier League in the process.
However, it looks like the defender is now set to leave the London-based club. As per reports, new incoming boss Antonio Conte is likely to deploy his preferred 3-5-2 formation upon his arrival, and the Italian tactician believes the Spanish international to be an inappropriate candidate for the vital and industrious wing-back role.
But with Azpi’s contract at the Stamford Bridge club lasting until 2019, Chelsea are willing to part ways with the player only if they receive a fee around the range of £11.8 million.
According to Spanish publication AS, Athletic Bilbao, Manchester United and Paris Saint Germain are all interested in securing the full-back’s services. However, with the Special One now managing Manchester United, the Red Devils are the clear favourites for Azpilicueta’s signature, and all they need to do to get the deal done is match Chelsea’s asking price.
On the other hand, Cesar himself would prefer to play under Mourinho again, as his primary intention is to keep developing wherever he plays.
He was quoted as saying so himself in a recent interview, when he stated: “I plan on staying another few years at Chelsea. I’m not thinking about leaving the club. I’m only thinking of (playing for) the Blues. But if I have to leave, it would be for a club where I could develop even more than at Chelsea.”
Cesar Azpilicueta isn’t the first former Mourinho player to get linked with a transfer to the Theatre of Dreams, especially with rumours involving Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Raphael Varane, Gonzalo Higuain and Nemanja Matic still looming large.