Despite the spotlight being trained on Jose Mourinho’s insistence on leaving Juan Mata on the bench, Chelsea fans will not have failed to notice that another Spaniard hasn’t been on many first team sheets either. Cesar Azpilicueta has played only one match for the Blues so far this season and this has reportedly unsettled the 24 year old right back.
TalkSPORT reports that Barcelona are all ready to defuse the entire situation as ‘Azpi’ is the newest Spaniard to figure on the Catalan’s wish list. The Catalan club are on a lookout for a right back to cover for first choice Brazilian Dani Alves given that rumours of Martin Montoya quitting the club have intensified over the past few months.
A La Masia youth product, Montoya has been linked to Arsenal, Inter Milan, Liverpool as well as Azpilicueta’s former employers Marseille, and is reportedly considering his future at Barcelona. And should he decide to leave, Martino and his team believe that his elder compatriot Azpilicueta is the man to fill his shoes.
An Osasuna youth academy product, Azpilicueta played a total of 108 times for the Spanish club before joining French club Marseille. Last summer, Di Matteo brought Azpilicueta to Stamford Bridge as a right back, to provide cover for Branislav Ivanovic, who often puts in a shift in the centre. However, Azpi went on to make a total of 48 appearances for the club in the past season, partly due to Rafael Benitez’s faith in him and partly due to the large number of matches that Chelsea had to play last season.
However, Mourinho seems to have decided that he is going to ostracise Azpilicueta, with Ivanovic featuring exclusively in the right back spot and should Barcelona indeed put in a bid, expect Chelsea to sell.