Chelsea's two tactics to retain Azpilicueta

Chelsea’s two tactics to retain Azpilicueta

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07/19/2022 at 10:36


The English club got off the hook asking Barça for 10 million euros for his transfer

He also tried to convince the player by showing him his performance statistics and stressing that it would be very difficult to find a replacement for him.

César Azpilicueta It is one of the great objectives of Barça to reinforce the defense, but the transfer operation is not being easy: although it seemed that the Navarrese could be released last June, a clause in his contract allowed Chelsea to unilaterally extend his contract for one more season.

The situation, therefore, forces the three parties involved (Chelsea, Barça and the footballer) to play their cards in the negotiation: the player wants to leave the English club to sign for Barça; Barça wants him at all costs (Xavi has called him several times to make it clear) and Chelsea, for their part, are trying to retain him.

With the change of ownership of Chelsea (American Todd Boehly is the new owner of the clubafter the forced departure of Abramovich), the English club has deployed all its artillery to try to keep ‘Azpi’ from leaving Stamford Bridge.

To begin with, Chelsea got off the hook demanding Barça pay 10 million euros to free Azpilicueta. Chelsea negotiators knew that it was too high an amountbecause of the player’s age (32 years old) and because of Barça’s meager economic capacity.

Chelsea’s intention was for Barça to consider the player lost. The azulgrana club never considered paying that amount, but kept insisting to lower the price.

The Chelsea’s second ‘stratagem’ had to do with the player himself: Although the new owner of Chelsea knew first-hand that ‘Azpi’ wants to go to Barça, he tried to convince him with a curious mixture, halfway between personal empathy and data.

The help of ‘big data’

The owners of Chelsea sat down with Azpilicueta and they showed him a series of parameters extracted from a data analysis program: minutes, recoveries, kilometers traveled, balls recovered, heat maps, etc.

According to that information, it would be impossible for Chelsea to find a player of Azpilicueta’s level on the market. It was the argument used by Chelsea managers to try to convince him to continue at Stamford Bridge.

Azpilicueta, however, wants to play for Barça: he considers that he is at the ideal age to do so, that the opportunity is unbeatable and, furthermore, he wants to return to Spain. That’s why he didn’t give in to Chelsea’s attempts; That is why he will be from Barça before August 31.

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