Barcelona’s pursuit of Chelsea captain Azpilicueta leaves Tuchel ‘annoyed’
Despite mired in debt to the tune of over a billion dollars, the Spanish giants have gone on a shopping spree unlike any other, bringing in the likes of Raphinha, Robert Lewandowski, Andreas Christensen and Franck Kessie to bolster a team which had already spent big – both in terms of transfer fees and wages – on the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Ferran Torres, and Memphis Depay the year before.
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In basic terms, Barcelona are that kind of friend who cannot pay off their maxed-out credit card bills, but still insist on buying branded goods and eating in fancy restaurants just so they can look good on social media.
And it appears that Barcelona have now set their sights on securing the services of Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta.
As yet, it remains unclear how exactly the Blaugrana intend to pay selling clubs the transfer fees for the players they have purchased. And Chelsea are probably not going to sanction selling a player to a club based on a pinky promise to pay up.
Nonetheless, Azpilicueta is understood to be keen to join Barcelona so that he can return to his native country. But Tuchel has no intention of selling the full-back just yet.
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When asked whether he was annoyed by Barcelona’s pursuit of the 31-year-old, Tuchel replied: “Maybe a little bit.”
The German coach added that he understood Azpilicueta’s desire to join Barcelona, but insisted that he would be staying at Stamford Bridge for the foreseeable future.
“It's a tough question because I am not sure if I want to give Azpi what he wants,” said Tuchel. “At some point it is about what we want. I just made the comparison about how much we fought for Koulibaly, who is a national team player and roughly the same age.
“He is a hugely important player for Napoli but we have a Spanish international who is the captain at Chelsea. I see him maybe at the same level but Barcelona don't see him on that level. So I am not sure if I want to give him what he wants as he is a huge player.
“We don't think so much about other clubs. The focus is on us and what we need. I said that to him and I say it to you that I understand on a personal and a career level. But I am not only in this role to give him what he wants. I am a manager for Chelsea who wants to do what's best for Chelsea.
“"He doesn't like it but he understands. It is tough for him because the other club is permanently on him. On September 1 when things calm down, then he can play on his highest level.”