Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta 'wanted by Atletico Madrid with Niklas Sule transfer raising doubts over his future'

ATLETICO MADRID are reportedly ready to take advantage of Chelsea’s interest in Niklas Sule by moving for club captain Cesar Azpilicueta.

El Gol Digital claims Atleti boss Diego Simeone is eager to add the Stamford Bridge stalwart to his squad this summer.


And he believes Thomas Tuchel could be open to a deal as the Blues apparently attempt to sign German centre-back Sule from Bayern Munich.

Azpilicueta, 31, has been at Chelsea since 2012 after joining from Marseille for just £7million.

He has gone on to become an icon for the capital club, playing an incredible 421 games while winning two Premier League titles, two Europa Leagues and an FA Cup.

Azpilicueta, affectionately known as ‘Dave’ to fans, can add to his collection this season as Chelsea compete in the FA Cup final and Champions League semis.

However, the veteran’s west London contract expires in 2022.

And despite being the only player to start in every single Premier League game under Tuchel since the German’s arrival in January, Azpilicueta’s long-term future is said to be in doubt.

Chelsea are rumoured to be in the market for Bayern giant Sule, 25, as they look to add even more stability to their five-man defence.

And there will need to be exits to free up space for the soon-to-be four-time Bundesliga winner.

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With his 32nd birthday approaching in August, and with a year left on his deal, Azpilicueta is said to be a prime candidate.

And one option for the 25-time Spain international is to return to his home country with Atletico.

Simeone’s men are hoping to land their first LaLiga title since 2014.

And natural-born leader Azpilicueta, who was named Chelsea skipper following Gary Cahill’s exit in 2019, is seen as the ideal figure to help Atleti push on in the next campaign.

He can play anywhere in the back line, usually on the flanks, but the report claims ‘Dave’ could be set for a central role in a four-man defence.

Highly-rated Uruguayan star Jose Gimenez is expected to leave the Wanda Metropolitano, with Atletico ready to bank £52m for new signings.

They apparently believed just £15m of that fee will be needed to prise Azpilicueta away from the Premier League.

And he will replace Gimenez at the heart of Simeone's defence.

But it remains to be seen if Tuchel is prepared to sign off on the deal, having immediately praised Azpi when joining Chelsea before proceeding to make him an ever-present figure in his starting XI.

However, should the player himself push for the move, the Blues have shown in the past – with the likes of Petr Cech and Eden Hazard – that they do not deny stars a transfer of their choice if they have put in years of dedicated service.

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