Cesar Azpilicueta has been talking about his decision to stay at Chelsea despite interest from Barcelona in the summer transfer window.
The Catalans had a verbal agreement with Azpilicueta over a move but a deal failed to happen and the defender ended up signing a contract renewal at Stamford Bridge.
Azpilicueta has explained why he nearly moved on this summer after a decade with the Blues.
“Yes the conversations were there [with Barcelona],” he said.
“After the Club World Cup, where I became the only player to ever win every trophy, I felt it was the time to go back. But then everything happened with this club. I wanted to stay committed to the club. I never did anything against my club.
“We had private conversations where I said everything. We had players leaving and I have never been in a transfer market situation in 10 years. It was different. For a period I was a free agent and who knows what could have happened in that period.
“I decided to stay silent because I think there was already enough noise around me. I didn’t want to make it worse because I wanted to stay focused on my game.
“It was a turning point at the Club World Cup. I tried so hard to win this trophy. At that moment I felt differently. It was like, ‘Wow, I have won everything for this club so maybe a new chapter arrives’.”
Chelsea waved goodbye to Toni Rudiger, Andreas Christensen and Romelu Lukaku at the start of the summer and it seemed Azpilicueta would join the trio in leaving, but he says a meeting with the club’s new owners helped to change his mind.
“I had a meeting with the new owners. They wanted me to stay here to lead the team both on and off the pitch. It’s a big thank you to them,” he added.
“They were very honest and transparent from the first day. I felt a responsibility to stay here in my home. My family are happy here. We have a new project with new players and youngsters coming in. I feel right and ready to look forward.”
Source | The Guardian
Barca and Chelsea have both been busy in the summer transfer window. The Catalans have beaten the Premier League side to both Raphinha and Jules Kounde, while the Blues have brought in Kalidou Koulibaly, Raheem Sterling, and former Barca man Marc Cucurella.