MARSEILLE, FRANCE - OCTOBER 19: Cesar Azpilicueta (L) of Marseille and Andrey Arshavin (R) of Arsenal during the UEFA Champions League Group F match between Olympique de Marseille and Arsenal FC at Stade Velodrome on October 19, 2011 in Marseille, France. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
We've written lots of words about it, we've talked a fair bit about the ramifications, and we've waited, waited and waited, but finally it seems that Chelsea may have sealed a deal for 22 year old Cesar Azpilicueta. There are currently reports in France suggesting a fee has been agreed for Azpilicueta*, seemingly ending Chelsea's search for a new right back and putting to rest a rumour that has been simmering for the better part of a year. La Provence doesn't seem to have much of a track record with breaking stories like this, but they also don't seem to have a history of reporting silly rumors. I suppose that means we'll have to wait and see on this report's accuracy, but I'm more inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt here due to a lack of rumor-mongering in the past.
*Marca is also reporting this, though it's likely just running with the French story
Rather than rehashing the benefits of this transfer, I'll link you to Graham's piece from the start of the month which summarizes quite nicely why Chelsea chose the Spaniard over other percieved targets such as Maicon, Debuchy and Piszczek. This deal would swell Chelsea's Spanish contingent in the first team to four while the outlay itself (depending on who you believe) will be somewhere in the region of £7-8 miillion. This shouldn't have a negative impact on Chelsea's ongoing attempt to comply with FFP, and Azpilicueta should reasonably have some decent resale value in the future without being a substantial hit in the present. Hopefully we won't be worrying about that for a while though, as Azpilicueta certainly has the talent to be a standout here for years to come. We'll let you know more as we hear it, but with Chelsea in action this afternoon and Marseille flying to Greece, I'm sure this won't be the last mention of Azpi today.