Barcelona, Atletico Madrid vying for Chelsea’s Cesar Azpilicueta


The summer transfer window was unlike any other. See all the major deals and check out how we graded the biggest signings. And just because the window is shut until January, that doesn’t mean the rumours won’t keep coming. Here’s the latest gossip and speculation.

TOP STORY: Barca, Atleti to battle for Azpilicueta

Barcelona and Atletico Madrid are interested in Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta on a free transfer, says Sport.

The Spain international is one of a number of Blues defenders out-of-contract at Stamford Bridge in the summer, meaning he is free to discuss a deal with foreign clubs as of Jan. 1.

The 32-year-old has spent nearly 10 years at Chelsea, joining from Marseille in 2012 and making 446 appearances for the club in that time.

ESPN broke the news of Barcelona following the versatile defender back in November, with new boss Xavi Hernandez hoping to add experience and leadership to his young squad.

Along with Azpilicueta, Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen and Thiago Silva all have contracts that expire in the summer, leaving Thomas Tuchel with a potential centre-back shortage on his hands going into next season.

Rudiger has been heavily linked with a move to Real Madrid in recent months, with the Blues beginning talks over a new contract, but yet to get the Germany international to commit to staying in London.

Barcelona have also been linked heavily with Christensen, who Chelsea are believed to have had talks with over a new deal, but they have stalled with the Denmark international being dropped for a game due to the ongoing debacle.

As for Silva, it is believed he will sign another year at Stamford Bridge, impressing since his free transfer from Paris Saint-Germain.

Time will tell if Tuchel is left with a shortage at the back, however it could force his hand to go into the transfer market to shore up his defensive options.

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PAPER GOSSIP

– West Ham are pushing to sign Liverpool defender Nat Phillips in January, reports the Evening Standard. The Hammers have been dealt a blow in defence, with Angelo Ogbonna and Kurt Zouma set to miss a spell due to injury. As a result, David Moyes is hoping to sign the 24-year-old, who the Reds value at £10 million.

– Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana has not closed the door to a return to Barcelona in the future, with the 25-year-old out-of-contract in the summer.

Speaking to Sport, he said: “I continue to be in contact with Barca. I have a very, very good relationship since I left. Barca is my home and there have always been contacts. Obviously. It is my home and I grew up there. If it is Barca, it will be Barca.”

– PSG are eyeing a move for Bayern Munich winger Kingsley Coman, according to Calciomercato. The 25-year-old’s deal expires with the Bavarian club at the end of the season, leaving him free to leave the club or agree a pre-contract with clubs abroad in January.

Kieran Trippier is a transfer priority for Newcastle United manager Eddie Howe in January, reports the Daily Mail. The right-back is said to be willing to move back to the Premier League from Atletico Madrid, with the Magpies looking to bolster their squad for a relegation battle.

– Manchester United are looking at midfield targets in case Paul Pogba leaves the club on a free transfer next summer. The France international is out of contract at the end of the season, with the Daily Telegraph reporting that any replacement would be of international standing, but won’t be a marquee name like Pogba.

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