Atletico Madrid have made a late move for Cesar Azpilicueta despite the defender agreeing personal terms with Inter. Azpilicueta had earlier this month reached a personal agreement with Inter and was anticipated to leave Chelsea on a free transfer to Italy. Chelsea wanted to thank the Spaniard for his 11 years of service by giving him the freedom to choose his own destiny. Atletico, though, has now entered the discussion with a proposal to return Azpilicueta to his own country. Since a move back to Spain is said to appeal to Azpilicueta and his family, Atletico are now predicted to sign the 33-year-old.
Since Matt Doherty, a former Tottenham right-back, was released by Atletico this summer, there is an evident opening in Diego Simeone’s defence that Azpilicueta will fill. Atletico Madrid target Cesar Azpilicueta must now complete the specifics of his Chelsea exit. The seasoned defender has one year left on his Stamford Bridge deal, but it shouldn’t be difficult to come to an agreement to part ways this summer.
Chelsea signed 20-year-old Malo Gusto from Lyon for £30 million in January as part of a deal to be ready for Azpilicueta’s exit. Reece James will have competition from Gusto at right-back, while Chelsea will benefit from the return of Levi Colwill at center-back. Trevoh Chalobah, who is also being pursued by Inter, is still up in the air, and decisions still need to be made on the futures of Conor Gallagher, Christian Pulisic, Hakim Ziyech, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Romelu Lukaku, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
In the meanwhile, a deal to sign Romelu Lukaku is nearly finalized between Chelsea and Inter Milan. He refused a transfer to Saudi Arabia and is insistent that he only wants to play for Inter next season, a position that has only made the Serie A team more fond of him. Chelsea are happy to let Lukaku go this summer, but they have rejected Inter’s attempts to obtain another loan agreement, insisting instead that Inter make a firm commitment to buying the striker altogether.
But Inter’s poor financial status has proved a roadblock. The Nerazzurri are considering a loan agreement that would contain a commitment to acquire Lukaku next summer because they do not presently have the funds to finance a permanent transfer. Although insiders close to the discussions predict a solution will soon be made and all three sides want to see Lukaku playing for Inter next season, Chelsea would prefer a permanent sale right now.
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