Roberto Di Matteo has completed a deal for long term target Cesar Azpilicueta but centre back David Luiz will not be leaving Chelsea.
Azpilicueta was left out of the squad for the club’s Europa League clash with FC Sheriff Tiraspol on Wednesday, prompting speculation that a move to Chelsea was close. But Marseille president Vincent Labrune has denied that Azipilicueta is set for a departure, accusing agents of starting the rumours.
Yet the Blues, who had a bid £3.2 million turned down, seemed determined to land the Spaniard. Di Matteo has long been courting a right back and the £7 million required was never going to be an issue for the Blues.
Arriving under a modest price tag Azpilicueta is a low key signing in comparison to Chelsea’s other new recruits. However, he is equally important. Branislav Ivanovic has been effective at right back but has made it clear he would prefer to play centre back. Regarded as one of Europe’s best young full backs, the Spaniard will certainly bolster the Blues defence and gives them a number of strong options.
Azpilicueta’s arrival will not signal any departures as rumours that Chelsea have turned down a £30 million offer from the Premier League champions appear unfounded.
The Sun claim the Brazilian defender was left out of the victory over Reading while City and Chelsea sorted out the deal, though the player himself told Twitter he was injured, much to the annoyance of the club.
Yet Ben Smith, of the slightly more reputable BBC, has stated that City have no interest in Luiz, which certainly seems more plausible. The former Benfica player is supposed to have been earmarked by Roberto Mancini to provide cover for the injured Micah Richards.
It’s surprising as Richards, though comfortable in the middle, is a right back. With Stefan Savic and Kolo Toure providing centre back cover, it is unlikely that Mancini would spend £30 million on another.
From Chelsea’s perspective, would Di Matteo really sanction a move that would leave him with only three recognised centre backs, particularly one which would benefit his Premier League rivals? Unlikely.
Add to that the fact that Luiz has only been at Stamford Bridge for a little over 18 months and it seems increasingly likely that the Sun is merely fuelling the transfer rumour mill.Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!