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Barcelona considering Chelsea’s Ceazar Azpilicueta as replacement for Alves



Barcelona are keen to add Chelsea defender Ceazar Azpilicueta to their ranks as they set for the departure of Dani Alves to Juventus.

The Spanish champions are desperately considering their defensive options as officials work to avoid a mini crisis in manager Luis Enrique’s back line.

Dani Alves is tipped to leave and Marc Bartra have already departed the club, while Douglas, Adriano and Thomas Vermaelen may all follow suit.

That is according to Spanish newspaper Marca, who claim both Javier Mascherano and Aleix Vidal could also leave the Nou Camp during the summer transfer window, and that would leave Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba and Jeremy Mathieu as they three remaining defenders.

According to the report, Enrique will set about restructuring his defence ahead of the new season – and Azpilicueta is one man on his shortlist.

The Spain international reportedly wants to quit Stamford Bridge and return to La Liga, with Athletic Bilbao also keen on his services.

Azpilicueta, 26, made 51 appearances for club and country last season, starting all but five of Chelsea’s games during the campaign.

It is claimed Barca have contacted Chelsea over a swoop for Azpilicueta, whose contract expires in 2019.

Barca were linked with a swoop for Arsenal’s Hector Bellerin but the Gunners held firm on their reluctance to sell.

Other men Barca are said to be eyeing are Paris Saint-Germain’s Marquinhos and Uruguayan youngster Mauricio Lemos.

Brazilian Sidnei, who will reportedly leave Deportivo La Coruna this summer, is another option, as is Celta Vigo’s Jonny, who has a £9.3million (€12m) release clause.

As for Chelsea, incoming manager Antonio Conte is said to be considering his options at the back, with Juventus’ Leonardo Bonucci and Roma’s Kostas Manolas on his shopping list

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