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Thomas Tuchel admits Cesar Azpilicueta wants Chelsea exit

Tuchel admits Azpilicueta wants Chelsea exit
© Reuters
Head coach Thomas Tuchel admits that defender Cesar Azpilicueta is open to leaving Chelsea during the summer transfer window.

Head coach Thomas Tuchel has suggested that Chelsea defender Cesar Azpilicueta has earned the right to decide his own future.

In a decade-long spell at Stamford Bridge, Azpilicueta has made 474 appearances in all competitions and won each of the available trophies, the set being completed by victory at the Club World Cup in February.

Speculation persists of a summer transfer to Barcelona, despite the 32-year-old having activated a 12-month extension to his contract earlier this year through reaching a set number of games.

Nevertheless, while Chelsea are currently powerless when it comes to official discussions and negotiations regarding contracts and sales, Tuchel feels that Azpilicueta has earned enough respect for the Premier League outfit to be open-minded to an exit should he wish to take on a new challenge.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Tuchel said: "It felt like he won everything after the Club World Cup, then suddenly given his personal situation I can understand these thoughts that maybe a cycle is at its end. Then it's a change of ownership and he played only under this owner, in this structure, so it maybe increased even his second thoughts about his situation.

"Then his extension kicked in at the same time and he loves the club, he loves the challenge, he loves to be here and he is our captain. Given the fact we lose already key defenders, it's not the ideal scenario to think about losing Azpi, even if I can understand his personal point of view.

"At some point, if you are a legend, which he is, you deserve maybe also from me and the club, a second look at it, is there is maybe an exception from the rule and we are still in this process. If he cannot get rid of this feeling, we have to talk about it openly, seriously and respectfully because he deserves it.

"This is what we have to find out. That does not mean we find it out tomorrow or today, we still have time because we are also in the privileged position where we have a contract. We have to see. I would hope strongly, he knows this (Chelsea want to keep him), he knows it. We are still in the talks to find out the ideal solution."

Azpilicueta is expected to feature when Chelsea face Leicester City and Watford over the coming days, both matches taking place at Stamford Bridge.

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