Premier League • England

New suitors emerge for Chelsea man as Newcastle deal raises Tuchel concerns

Jonny Whitfield
Kepa Arrizabalaga, Marcos Alonso, Cesar Azpilicueta Chelsea Super Cup

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.

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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.