FC Barcelona is very clear that the line that it must reinforce more powerfully is the defense. There is room to improve both on the sides and the center, and it is up in the air if Dani Alves (38 years old) and Sergiño Dest (21) continue on the right side. In the central zone, it is known that Samuel Umtiti (28) and Clément Lenglet (26) will leave, and Jordi Alba on the left (33) does not have a substitute in the current squad. In this sense, a signing already closed is that of central defender Andreas Christensen (26), who ends his contract at Chelsea. In addition, two of his teammates, the versatile César Azpilicueta (32) and the left-back Marcos Alonso (31), are on Barça’s plan and prioritize reaching Camp Nou. Neither ends their contract this summer but in 2023, but both want a change of scenery and exchange the ‘blue’ of Chelsea’s shirt for the azulgrana of Barça’s.
In the case of Azpilicueta, Barça is very clear that they want to try to sign him. He is seen as a very interesting player for his good defensive qualities and leadership capacity (he is the current captain of Chelsea). His versatility, given that as a central defender, he can act as a full-back on both wings, especially on the right. However, at Barça, they want him to play central, preferably.
The problem with Azpilicueta is that, apart from the fact that Chelsea does not have clear leadership right now after the departure of Roman Abramovich, he is the captain of the team. In this sense, ‘Azpi’ has the handicap that in a situation of power vacuum and difficulties, he has a moral obligation not to force the machine too much to get out. In this sense, the interest of Barça is so determined that even the club is considering paying a not very high amount to facilitate his transfer. The player wishes to return to Spain after spending ten years in London.
Marcos Alonso is in the same situation. He has been on Barça’s plan several times. One year before the end of his contract with Chelsea, he prioritizes returning to Spanish football and, specifically, to FC Barcelona. Sources from the Barça sports area admit that work has been done on the possible hiring of a footballer who, in January 2021, was already close to arriving on loan, on that occasion after efforts by Ramon Planes. It was when Barça was working on a sale of Junior Firpo that, finally, was delayed for six months. Also, last summer, there was an unsuccessful attempt.