Barcelona have made significant progress in their pursuit of Chelsea defender and captain, Cesar Azpilicueta if an update from Gerard Romero is to be believed.
The 32-year-old has been at Stamford Bridge since 2012, having joined from Olympique Marseille. Over the past nine years or so, the Spaniard has grown into an icon at the west London club, making close to 450 appearances, winning several titles and trophies in the process.
However, there have been speculations surrounding his future in London beyond the current season with his contract running out in the summer. Barcelona, for one, have been strongly interested in luring Azpilicueta away from Chelsea on a free transfer before the start of the next season.
And, as per the update from Gerard Romero, the Blaugrana have been able to strike an agreement in principle with the Spanish international, with a move to Camp Nou firmly on track unless there are any late changes due to personal issues.
The fact that Azpilicueta can play anywhere across the backline and would be available on a free transfer made him an appealing target for Barcelona. The 32-year-old can be used at right-back in case Sergino Dest is sold, with Dani Alves’ contract also running out at the end of the season.
At the same time, the Chelsea captain can provide cover at left-back or centre-back as and when needed. Wages could have been a stumbling block in talks, but it seems like Barça have managed to reach an agreement with the veteran star over a Bosman move in the summer.
Azpilicueta is a player that manager Xavi Hernandez knows from their time together playing for the Spanish national team. The ex-Marseille still has a few years left at this level and can add a lot of value with his experience, leadership and versatile nature. It remains to be seen if he ends up making the switch to Camp Nou come summer.