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Azpilicueta prepared to snub ‘flattering’ links to Barcelona

The Chelsea defender continues to be linked with a move to his native Spain, but he sees no reason why he should leave the Premier League champions

Cesar Azpilicueta is “very happy” at Chelsea and has shrugged off the latest round of “flattering” speculation linking him with Barcelona.

The Spain international started his career in his homeland with Osasuna, but has spent the last seven years taking in spells at Marseille and at Stamford Bridge.

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This season has seen him flourish as part of Chelsea’s three-man defensive unit and get his hands on the Premier League title for a second time.

His exploits have seen him attract admiring glances from afar, with Barca reported to view him as an alternative to Arsenal’s Hector Bellerin in their pursuit of a new right-back, but the 27-year-old sees no reason why he would want to turn his back on the champions of England.

Azpilicueta told Marca: “It’s flattering that a club like Barcelona can be interested in you. Last year, after a bad season on a collective level, we did not have those types of rumours.

“However, this season we have crowned Champions and this type of information indicates that we have done well.

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“Interest from teams of this level is very positive but I am very happy here. I feel very valued by the club and I do not think of anything else.”

Azpilicueta was an ever-present for Chelsea in their 2016-17 Premier League campaign, becoming just the fourth outfield player to take in every minute of a title-winning season.

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