• Barcelona are rebuilding their squad ahead of new term
  • Rudiger recently rejected a new deal from Chelsea
  • Barca have also offered Azpi a two-year deal

FC Barcelona are reportedly preparing for a raid for Chelsea's defense trio ahead of the 2022 summer transfer window.

Defenders César Azpilicueta, Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rüdiger who are set to be out of contract at the end of the season are on the transfer target list of Barcelona, reported The Guardian.

While Azpilicueta and Christensen have been targets of Barcelona for a while now, Rudiger has been linked with the Catalan club for the very first time. Barcelona are suffering from a financial crisis and which is why the La Liga club is trying to chase players who are soon set to become free agents.

Barcelona believe Rudiger fits perfectly into their requirement profile. The Camp Nou officials met Rudiger’s representatives Wednesday regarding signing the defender ahead of the 2022-23 campaign, according to Sky Sports. As per the report, Sahr Senesie, the adviser and half-brother of Rudiger, met with Barcelona’s sporting director Mateu Alemany and his deputy Jordi Cruyff for secret negotiations in a restaurant in Barcelona.

Antonio Rudiger scored twice to secure Chelsea a 2-2 draw at Leicester
Antonio Rudiger has been at Chelsea since 2017 AFP / Adrian DENNIS

If Barcelona manage to pull off this particular transfer, it would be a major setback for their Classico rivals Real Madrid. It was previously reported that Rudiger had rejected a new deal from Chelsea that would see him earn a weekly wage of around $210,043 to join Los Blancos.

Meanwhile, Barcelona have been in talks with Chelsea captain Azpi for some time now. It is understood that the Catalans have offered Azpi a two-year contract and are waiting for the Spanish defender to decide on his future in the coming days. Amid all of this, Azpi has now triggered a one-year extension of his deal at Chelsea after playing a certain number of games this season.

It is a performance-related clause and not a new contract and would not influence the sanctions currently in place on Chelsea, according to The Athletic. The Blues are unable to sign players to new contracts, sign new players, or sell players under the punishment handed down by the U.K. government to owner Roman Abramovich.

With 59 points in 28 matches, Chelsea are placed third in the 2021-22 Premier League table. Thomas Tuchel’s side is not in the title race as of now as it is 10 points behind Liverpool and 11 behind leaders Manchester City.