There are reports in Spain that Newcastle have joined the race for Marseille’s 22 year-old Spanish right-back Cesar Azpilicueta, although Chelsea have been tracking the top youngsters for at least the last year.
Cesar Azpilicueta – Newcastle interested in Spanish full-back?
The player turns 23 in August, and he has played 19 times for the Spanish U21 side and 3 times for the Spanish U23 side, but has never been able to break into the full Spanish side – the European and World Champions – but that’s hard for any player to do the days, such is the strength of Spanish football at the International level.
Azpilicueta came through his hometown club CA Osasuna’s Youth system, and he made his La Liga debut in April of 2007, when he was only 17 years old, against of all sides – Real Madrid – and he started his career as a midfielder.
In June of 2010, top French club Olympique de Marseille signed the youngster, and he has played on the Lyon first team ever since. The fee was reported as €7M (about £5.5M), with the fee possibly rising to as much as €9.5M based on appearances.
The 5’10” tall Spaniard has played for every Spanish youth side from U16 through U23, and is now a key target of Chelsea, as the European Champions look to replace their departed right-back Jose Bowsinga.
However, according to the La Provence, Liverpool and Newcastle are now also looking to have discussions with the full-back.
Chelsea still remain the favorites to sign the player they have been tracking for over twelve months now, but they could now face some severe competition for his signature.
Newcastle’s number one full-back target remains Lille right-back Mathieu Debuchy, and we suppose this is a possible back-up plan, in case the deal for the French International does not go through.
Azpilicueta has been named captain of Spain’s Olympic Football team, and Newcastle will be taking a look at the player during the upcoming London Olympics.
Newcastle’s Chief Scout Graham Carr will probably get that detail, and of course he has a fabulous record of accomplishment so far scouting for Newcastle, his home town club.
But the full back will cost around £8M, and the fee for Debuchy is thought to be only £6M, so he may not be as good value for money as Mathieu.
Azpilicueta still has two years left on his contract at Marseilles, and the player has admitted that if he is to become part of the full Spanish side, then he will have to play his football at a bigger club than Marseilles.
Well Newcastle United are certainly that, and the publicity he would get at Newcastle, if he arrives and plays well on Tyneside, would give him a good shot at attaining his ambition.
However, this seems to us to be a back-up plan for Newcastle, with French International Mathieu Debuchy still firmly the number one full back, that Newcastle hope to bring into the club this summer.
What do you think?