CONUNDRUM

Tuchel says talks with Azpilicueta about captain’s future go on

Azpilicueta will be out of contract at the end of the season but Tuchel said there was no rush to reach a final decision.

In Summary

• If he departs, the Spain international would be the third defender due to leave Chelsea at the end of the season after Germany’s Antonio Ruediger, a lynchpin of Chelsea’s defence, and Andreas Christensen of Denmark.

• Meanwhile,  Tuchel says Andreas Christensen’s late withdrawal from the squad before the FA Cup final is “not the first time” the defender has felt unable to play this season.

Chelsea's Cesar Azpilicueta in action against Wolves
Chelsea's Cesar Azpilicueta in action against Wolves
Image: REUTERS

Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta is continuing to talk with the London club about his future, manager Thomas Tuchel said on Wednesday, amid media speculation Azpilicueta may be considering an offer from Barcelona.

If he departs, the Spain international would be the third defender due to leave Chelsea at the end of the season after Germany’s Antonio Ruediger, a lynchpin of Chelsea’s defence, and Andreas Christensen of Denmark.

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“He is our captain. We are still in dialogue and at some point we are also selfish because we are not responsible to solve any other club’s problems or to fulfil any other club’s wishes,” Tuchel said in an interview on the club’s website.

“Given the fact that we lose key defenders already, it’s not the ideal scenario to think about losing Azpi, even though I can understand his personal point of view.”

Azpilicueta will be out of contract at the end of the season but Tuchel said there was no rush to reach a final decision.

Meanwhile,  Tuchel says Andreas Christensen’s late withdrawal from the squad before the FA Cup final is “not the first time” the defender has felt unable to play this season.

BBC Sport understands Christensen, who was not injured, was due to play against Liverpool in last Saturday’s Wembley showcase.

Tuchel said the Denmark centre-half told him on the day of the final he was not ready to play.

“He had his reasons,” added the German. “They stay private and confidential.”

Tuchel added: “But it was not the first time as you can see over the last weeks we had some of the same situations why he did not play so regularly.

“We thought that we are in a good progression and good development because he played very strong in the match before the final against Leeds. “But the conversation took place and we have to respect it and we of course respected it and he has our support.”

Christensen, 26, is expected to leave Chelsea this summer, having agreed a deal with Barcelona.