• Barcelona is being linked to a move for a veteran Chelsea defender
  • Chelsea may have been keen on bolstering its defense
  • The Blues are now working on keeping one of the pillars of their Champions League title run

Barcelona could already scratch off a Chelsea veteran in its January transfer window wish list.

It is becoming more apparent that Chelsea has been leaning towards adding depth to its defense.

The Blues have already re-signed Trevoh Chalobah and are now working on extending the contract of Cesar Azpilicueta, according to famed journalist Eduardo Inda.

According to Inda, Barcelona is indeed linked to a transfer swoop for Azpilicueta.

However, there is “no possibility” that the 32-year-old is joining the Catalans as Chelsea will now exercise the player’s one-year unilateral renewal clause.

"It is being said that [Cesar] Azpilicueta is going to come to Barça because he is free in June,” Inda recently said on Spanish TV program El Chiringuito.

"Chelsea has a unilateral renewal clause for a year that it will exercise,” he continued. “If Chelsea decides to renew him, he has to stay and there is no possibility of him coming to Barça."

An earlier report said that after landing Memphis Depay, Sergio Aguero and Eric Garcia on free transfers this past summer, Barcelona is keen to “continue to target out-of-contract players” due to its current financial situation.

Chelsea’s Azpilicueta, who captained the Blues’ squad that won the 2021 UEFA Champions League title, is among the early favorites of new Barcelona boss Xavi Hernandez.

The report added that Xavi “values” Azpilicueta’s “ability to play at right-back in a four-man defense or on the right of a back three,” and is also certain that the defender could add experience and quality to his young backline arsenal.

Cesar Azpilicueta
Cesar Azpilicueta could finally be set to complete his move to Chelsea. Reuters

However, it appears that Azpilicueta has no plans of leaving Chelsea anytime soon as he is enamored by the club’s project.

“Mr. [Roman] Abramovich is the owner [of Chelsea],” Azpilicueta recently said on “Porto Uncovered." “ I know how he lives for the club, I know how he has brought Chelsea to the top of the world.”

“His commitment on and off the pitch, for the society and communities, is special. When he was there, it’s his trophy and we try to share it with him. It was very special.”

Apart from Azpilicueta, another previous report said that Chelsea has now reached an agreement with Fenerbahce center-back Attila Szalai.

The report noted that Fenerbahce has been willing to sell Szalai and has now green-lighted the defender’s move to Chelsea for around €23.4 million ($26.7 million).

If reports are to be accurate, Szalai is set to sign a six-year contract with the Blues and is expected to earn €4 million ($4.5 million) per year.