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Tuchel wants to keep Azpilicueta despite interest in Barca move

Thomas Tuchel does not intend to give in to Cesar Azpilicueta’s demand for a cut-price exit to Barcelona.

Azpilicueta has reportedly asked to leave Stamford Bridge for Barca, who has already signed Andreas Christensen after his Blues contract expired.

It has been suggested that a £55million move for Sevilla centre-back Jules Kounde could pave the way for the Spaniard to leave for Camp Nou.

However, Tuchel is firm and does not want to let Azpilicueta leave on the cheap, saying he was “maybe a little bit” annoyed by Barca’s pursuit of the player.

Tuchel said:

“It’s a tricky question because I’m unsure if I want to give Azpi what he wants.

“At some point, it is about what we want. For example, I just compared how much we fought for [Kalidou] Koulibaly, a national team player roughly the same age.

“He is a hugely influential player for Napoli, but we have a Spanish international who is the captain at Chelsea. So I see him maybe at the same level, but Barcelona doesn’t see him on that level. So I am not sure if I want to give him what he wants as he is a tremendous player.

“We don’t think so much about other clubs. The focus is on us and what we need. I said that to him and told him that I understand on a personal and a career level. But I am not only in this role to give him what he wants. I am a manager for Chelsea who wants to do what’s best for Chelsea.

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Tuchel wants to keep Azpilicueta despite interest in Barca move

“He doesn’t like it, but he understands. It is tough for him because the other club is permanently on him. On September 1, when things calm down, then he can play on his highest level.”

Tuchel poured cold water on reports that striker Timo Werner is keen to return to Germany after failing to make an impact following his arrival from RB Leipzig in 2020.

“I don’t think so, so I don’t know about it. Timo has not talked to me about it,” said Tuchel.

“At the moment, I think he wants to make his way at Chelsea. However, he still has to prove a point.”

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