Atletico Madrid have made Chelsea full-back Cesar Azpilicueta a candidate to replace Newcastle target Kieran Trippier, according to a report.
Trippier has had long-term links with a move back to the Premier League following his 2019 exit from Tottenham. But while Manchester United looked at him for a while, Newcastle have supposedly pushed ahead with a raid.
In fact, one report claims that the Magpies have made the England international their number one January transfer priority.
Meanwhile, another report from talkSPORT adds that he could become Newcastle’s highest-paid player.
As such, Atletico are thinking about seeking his replacement. According to The Guardian, they have honed in on Chelsea’s Azpilicueta.
A right-back like Trippier, Chelsea’s Spanish captain is one of the Premier League’s longest current-serving players. He moved to Stamford Bridge in 2012 and has racked up 446 outings for his club.
However, the 32-year-old’s contract expires next summer. He has also not played in Spain since 2010, when he left Osasuna for Marseille.
As a result, celebrating a decade at Chelsea in 2022 could, The Guardian adds, prove a fitting way to bow out, especially with the Blues chasing Premier League and Champions League glory.
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The newspaper adds that Blues boss Thomas Tuchel values Azpilicueta and his leadership. The German manager does not want to lose the player to a free transfer.
While there is an expectation that he will commit to another year at Stamford Bridge, nothing is certain.
Indeed, a previous report revealed how some of Chelsea’s players felt ‘bewildered’ as to how long contract talks with the defender have gone on without a conclusion. Most in the camp expected the discussions to be ‘straightforward’.
But Azpilicueta is one of a few Chelsea players whose contract situations are proving a problem this season.
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The deals of fellow defenders Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen and Thiago Silva all also expire in the summer.
Rudiger reportedly has interest from Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.
However, Madrid are reportedly the favourites to sign the Germany international.
The Spanish club have supposedly held positive talks with the player and his agent.