Sat, 20 Aug 2022

LONDON, Aug. 5 (Xinhua) -- Chelsea's Spain international defender Cesar Azpilicueta on Friday signed a new two-year contract with the club despite interest from FC Barcelona.

The deal means the 32-year-old Chelsea captain will stay at Stamford Bridge until the end of June 2024 and replaces the automatic contract extension the club imposed at the end of last season after he had played at least 45 minutes in 30 games in the campaign.

"I am really happy to extend my stay at Chelsea, my home," commented Azpilicueta on the Chelsea website.

"It is almost 10 years since I first arrived and joined the club, so I really feel the love and I am really excited for the new project we have in our hands," added the player, who joined from Olympique Marseille in 2012 after spells with Malaga and Osasuna.

"I am a really proud captain and I hope we can share many good memories together," he commented.

The move frustrates FC Barcelona's efforts to sign the player, who can perform either at right-back or in the center, with Chelsea coach Thomas Tuchel recently commenting on his irritation at Barca's attempts to lure the defender despite their well-publicized financial problems.

Chelsea were keen to keep the defender after seeing Andreas Christensen join Barca on a free transfer this summer, while Antonio Rudiger moved to Real Madrid.

Barca are now likely to switch their attention to Chelsea's left-back Marcos Alonso, while Chelsea are chasing Marc Cucurella from Brighton as a replacement.

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