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Barcelona stepping up interest in Azpilicueta

Barcelona are stepping up their interest in Chelsea captain César Azpilicueta.

The Spanish international is out of contract at Stamford Bridge at the end of the season, but has made enough appearances this season to trigger an automatic one year contract extension.

However, he stills wants to leave because of the continued financial uncertainty around the club.

He is now also 32, and is looking for a longer-term deal which will offer more security to him and his family than that on offer at Stamford Bridge, where there isa  policy of only offering short-term contracts to players over 30 years old.

The Catalans have already signed Azpilicueta’s current team mate Andreas Christensen on a free transfer, and are now hoping they can negotiate a similar deal with the full-back.

The embargo that Chelsea are under prevents them from negotiating with current players over contract renewals, and the longer the situation continues, the more vulnerable they are to other clubs making approaches for their best players.

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