Barcelona are closing in on three deals that have ramifications for multiple Premier League sides, most notably Chelsea, per a report.
The futures of centre-back trio Cesar Azpilicueta, Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen have been a hot topic of late. The trio are all out of contract in the summer and it’s entirely possible all three could leave.
Indeed, both Christensen and Azpilicueta could wind up reuniting at the Camp Nou, claims ESPN.
Barca’s desire to land the pair has been widely reported for some time. The fact the defenders won’t command a transfer fee is driving Barcelona’s interest to help channel their resources towards an Erling Haaland move.
ESPN claim talks to land Christensen are now ‘advanced’. That comes after the Spaniards ramped up their pursuit following the closure of the January window.
Chelsea had twice believed a new deal would be signed to extend the Dane’s stay at Stamford Bridge. However, the 25-year-old never put pen to paper and it’s claimed the Blues have become frustrated at dealing with the player’s camp.
Azpilicueta’s move is slightly more complicated given Chelsea reportedly hold an option to extend his stay by 12 months.
However, ESPN state the club won’t stand in their captain’s way if he has his heart set on a return to Spain. That stance comes from the decade of faultless service Azpilicueta has given to the club.
The article’s conclusion on the Chelsea pair is that they’ll both be at Barcelona next season barring ‘any late twists’.
Barcelona to make it a free agent hattrick
Azpilicueta and Christensen’s deals could quickly be followed by another free agent acquisition for Franck Kessie.
The Ivory Coast midfielder, 25, is also a free agent in the summer and ESPN report the ‘final stages’ of his deal are currently being worked on.
They include registering Kessie’s agent on the Spanish Football Association’s database and determining how much commission the deal’s intermediaries will take home.
Transfer guru Fabrizio Romano shed further light on Kessie’s potential move earlier today.
The Italian tweeted Barcelona are offering a salary of €6.5m net per year over a five-year contract. That would roughly equate to a weekly wage of around £105,000-a-week. It is also reportedly the same salary AC Milan are offering as they seek to convince him to stay, but those hopes are now fading.
Kessie was described as “tempted” by Barcelona’s proposal.
New European Super League plans slammed
Meanwhile, UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin and La Liga counterpart Javier Tebas have slammed Juventus, Barcelona and Real Madrid for discussing new European Super League plans.
The controversial breakaway league has come back into focus. Speaking at a Financial Times Business of Football Summit, Tebas revealed Juventus chief Andrea Agnelli had hosted his Real Madrid and Barcelona counterparts Florentino Perez and Joan Laporta in Turin “a few Fridays ago” to try to reignite the idea.
Tebas said (via the PA news agency): “What they’re saying, especially the Real Madrid president, is that they failed a first attempt. They have seen it was difficult to get English clubs to take part.
“They are trying to design a model where English clubs are not present. There will be [representatives from] the other four [major European] leagues.
“There will be some sort of first division and a second division. As far as I know, national leagues will have access through the second division.
“Those in the first division, they have direct access because they will never get relegated. I don’t know if Agnelli will explain. And if he doesn’t explain he’s lying.”
As for the Premier League’s perspective, chief executive of the league, Richard Masters, insisted English football fans should not worry.