Cesar Azpilicueta
Cesar Azpilicueta has been heavily linked with a move to Barcelona (Picture: Getty)

Barcelona want Cesar Azpilicueta to put in a transfer request and force his way out of Chelsea this summer.

The Spaniard has had his contract automatically extended by a year but reportedly wants to return back home to Spain.

Since joining the Blues in 2012, the 32-year-old has emerged as a crowd favourite at Stamford Bridge and while he is open to leaving, he is reluctant to leave the club on a sour note.

However, according to The Sun, Barcelona are growing frustrated with Azpilicueta and are keen for him to hand in a transfer request.

The report goes on to say that the defender will sit down with Thomas Tuchel in the coming days to try and find an amicable solution.

Barcelona’s manager Xavi wants to sign Azpilicueta as he is short of options at right-back following Dani Alves’ departure.

Chelsea, on the other hand, are reluctant to let their captain leave with Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen having already exited the club.

Cesar Azpilicueta and Thomas Tuchel
Thomas Tuchel is reluctant to lose Azpilicueta this summer (Picture: Getty)

Azpilicueta’s ability to play in a back three is hugely advantageous with Thiago Silva, Malang Sarr and Trevor Chalobah the only central defensive options available to Tuchel.

Meanwhile, the west London club are believed to want to sign Sevilla’s Jules Kounde but face competition from Barcelona.

Speaking about about Azpilicueta’s situation in May, Tuchel suggested he wanted to keep hold of the player.

He said: ‘We had a lot of these talks because I think it felt like he won everything after the Club World Cup so I can understand these thoughts, that maybe a cycle is at its end.

‘Then there’s also a change of ownership and he played only under this owner so maybe it increased his second thoughts about his situation.

‘His extension kicked in at the same time and he loves the club, he loves the challenge and he loves to be here.

‘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.’

MORE : Monaco confirm departure of former Arsenal and Chelsea star Cesc Fabregas

MORE : Huge blow for Chelsea as Barcelona strike deal for top Thomas Tuchel target Jules Kounde

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