CHELSEA skipper Cesar Azpilicueta is growing increasingly optimistic that he will be granted a move to Barcelona, according to reports.
SunSport exclusively revealed yesterday that the Blues had agreed a £55million deal to sign Jules Kounde – which in turn frees up Azpilicueta to leave.
Kounde's imminent arrival at Chelsea and Azpilicueta's departure are linked, according to The Times.
Boss Thomas Tuchel is set to have sufficient defensive options when Kounde finally signs, with Kalidou Koulibaly already recruited and the Blues still linked with Presnel Kimpembe.
Azpilicueta, 32, often filled in at centre-back last season and the incomings ease the pressure on Tuchel in the position.
It's claimed Azpilicueta is now growing more hopeful that he will be allowed to leave in order to join Barcelona.
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The Times go on to say the Spaniards themselves are in discussions with Azpilicueta and reassuring him that a deal will happen.
Blues stalwart Azpilicueta is eager to leave this summer in order to return him to Spain.
He is said to have already agreed personal terms with Barca over a switch to the Nou Camp.
Reports earlier this month claimed Chelsea want £7million to part ways with their club captain.
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During Azpilicueta's ten years at Stamford Bridge has won every club trophy possible at domestic and European level.
The defender is currently out in the USA with Tuchel and Co on pre-season tour.
Chelsea return to action in the early hours of Thursday morning against MLS side Charlotte FC after beating Club America 2-1 on Sunday.
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