Cesar Azpilicueta has opened up on his summer at Chelsea and explained the decision-making process behind him committing to another two years at the club.
The Spaniard recently signed a new two-year contract to extend his stay in west London, a deal which will see him surpass over a decade of service to the club.
While admitting there were multiple factors he had to take into consideration before making a final decision, the defender says his desire to continue his loyalty and commitment to Chelsea was one of the overriding reasons.
‘I’m really happy to sign the new contract,' Azpilicueta said after our win at Everton on the opening weekend.
'The last few months have been a little crazy but I’m really happy to extend my stay here. It’s a new project and I’m really looking forward to the season ahead.
‘It was quite a rare situation in the sense that I was coming out of contract and then the club were sanctioned in March, so nothing could be done at that time with regards to speaking about an extension, so it was difficult.
‘Everybody can speak a lot about your name [in the media] but the actions I think speak louder. I stayed committed to my club, I played the games as best as I could even though I didn’t know what was going to happen.
‘Then the new ownership group arrived, we had a very honest conversation and I decided that I was right to stay home here at Chelsea.’
After our Club World Cup triumph in Abu Dhabi back in February, the skipper completed the set at Chelsea – winning every possible trophy there is to win at the Blues.
He became the first Blues player to have ever achieved this feat and he says after that moment there were times when he thought it may be an opportunity to move on for pastures new.
‘I’m always totally honest and the conversations were there,' added the skipper. 'I thought after the Club World Cup, winning this trophy and being the first player at Chelsea to win every single trophy available, that perhaps it was time to go back to Spain, maybe for a new challenge.
Though after positive conversations with both head coach Thomas Tuchel and the new owners, Azpilicueta says he was persuaded to extend his stay - something he was delighted to do.
‘But then everything happened, we had some really good conversations with the manager and the owners. I’m the captain of this club and I wanted to stay committed to Chelsea.
‘The conversations we had will remain private, but we had some really good communications, we said what we thought and then I realised that I wanted to continue to help my club,’ the defender added.
‘I really want to thank the owners because they were very good with me. From day one, the conversations we had were honest and transparent. They told me that they valued me and wanted me to lead this club and these players, on and of the pitch.'