Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel admits he’s ‘a bit’ annoyed with Barcelona because of their pursuit of Cesar Azpilicueta.
The 32-year-old has 12 months left on his contract with Chelsea and has reportedly asked to leave the club after a decade at Stamford Bridge to return to his native Spain with Barcelona.
But Tuchel says he’s not sure he wants to give Azpilicueta ‘what he wants’, and believes Barca have undervalued the defender, comparing his value to that of Chelsea’s recent snap Kalidou Koulibaly. who signed for £33million from Napoli earlier this month.
When asked at the Universal Orlando Resortif he was annoyed by the Spanish giants’ pursuit of Azpilicueta, Tuchel replied: “Maybe a little.”
Asked about the Spaniard’s future, Tuchel said: “It’s a difficult question because I’m not sure I want to give Azpi what he wants.
“At some point, it’s about what we want. I just made the comparison on how much we fought for Koulibaly, who is a national team player and around the same age.
“He’s an extremely important player for Napoli but we have a Spanish international who is captain at Chelsea. I may see him at the same level but Barcelona don’t see him at that level. So I don’t know if I want to give him what he wants because he is a great player.
“We don’t think so much about other clubs. The focus is on us and what we need. I’ve told him and I’m telling you that I understand on a personal and professional level. But I’m not just in this role to give him what he wants. I am a Chelsea manager who wants to do what is best for Chelsea.
“He doesn’t like it but he understands. It’s hard for him because the other club is all over him all the time. On September 1, when things calm down, then he can play at his highest level.”
Tuchel also said Sky Sports News: “I understand his wish, his concerns, his thoughts on his career and his personal life, but he is also our captain, a huge captain and a legend and a winner. And I do not see much reason for my role as manager give up all those strengths he has.”
Sky in Germany: Werner wants to leave Chelsea
Timo Werner could leave Stamford Bridge this summer with the striker wanting to leave the club, according to Sky in Germany.
When asked if Werner was looking for an exit, Tuchel replied Sky Sports News“I don’t think so, so I don’t know.
“Timo hasn’t told me about it. I think he wants to make his way at Chelsea, and he still has to prove a point.”
Werner joined Chelsea in June 2020 from RB Leipzig in a £45m deal and has scored 23 goals in 89 appearances in all competitions.
The 26-year-old started 15 Premier League games last season and scored four times.
Chelsea remain confident of completing Koundé deal
Meanwhile, Barca are also vying with Chelsea for the Sevilla defender Jules Kounde but the Blues remain confident of securing a deal for the Frenchman.
The 23-year-old joined Sevilla’s pre-season training camp in Portugal late on Thursday after being initially left out of the squad.
Chelsea have had a verbal agreement with Koundé since June, with the former Bordeaux defender once admired by Tuchel.
Asked about their pursuit of Koundé, Tuchel said Sky Sports News: “No news. If there will be any news from Jules Kounde, I will tell you. I will not start commenting on the other players.”
But the German admitted he wanted a ‘minimum of one more defender’ after losing Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen to Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively this summer.
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