Barcelona have reportedly agreed a two-year deal worth £11m per season with Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta.
Azpilicueta came close to leaving the Blues on a free transfer last summer before signing a further one-year extension, but could now leave Stamford Bridge after a decade at the club.
The Spanish defender looks set to follow Chelsea defenders Antonio Rudiger and Andres Christensen out the door this summer, leaving boss Thomas Tuchel with the difficult task of rebuilding his defence.
The contract includes the possibility of a one-year contract extension at the Catalan giants.
However, Chelsea have confirmed that terms have been agreed for Todd Boehly to complete his £4.25bn takeover of the club.
Boehly’s consortium was named the preferred bidder to take over Stamford Bridge by the Raine Group, the US bank overseeing the sale. He has partnered with fellow Dodgers owner Mark Walter, Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss, as well as investment firm Clearlake Capital.
Boehly beat out competition from consortia led by Stephen Pagliuca and Sir Martin Broughton and even a belated £4.25bn bid from Britain’s richest man, Sir Jim Ratcliffe.
Azpilicueta was waiting for this decision to sit down with the club and undertake his dismissal, after Chelsea was forced to activate the unilateral option to extend the contract that ended in June.
According to Spanish newspaper Sports world this came just before the UK government slapped heavy sanctions on Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich for his links to warmongering Russian President Vladimir Putin after the Ukraine invasion.
Although Azpilicueta’s contract extension removes the risk of him leaving for nothing in the summer while the club remains under sanctions, he may leave the club anyway.
Azpilicueta has won the Champions League, Europa League, Premier League, FA Cup, EFL Cup and the Club World Cup during his decade at Chelsea, registering 16 goals and 56 assists in 463 games in all competitions.