Spanish star Azpilicueta signs new contract with Chelsea

London (AFP) –


Spanish international Cesar Azpilicueta, one of the longest-serving players at Chelsea, signed a new four-year contract on Tuesday which if he sees it out will take him to 10 years with the Premier League club.

The 29-year-old defender -- who joined the Blues in 2012 from French outfit Marseille and has won the Premier League title twice as well as captained them this season in the league -- says his desire to fight for the club is stronger than ever.

Azpilicueta, who is two appearances short of 300 for the club, has been a pivotal player in the bright start to the Maurizio Sarri reign which sees them lying in third spot, seven points off leaders Manchester City.

"Delighted to be a blue until 2022," the 25-times capped Spaniard said on his Twitter account.

"Since I arrived in 2012, my desire has been always to give my best and fight for this club, and now more than ever, I feel the responsibility to bring more success to this family."

Azpilicueta's previous deal was due to expire in 2020 after he signed a three-and-a-half-year contract extension in 2016.

Club director Maria Granovskaia said Azpilicueta's new contract was reward not only for his loyalty but also his consistently high-level displays.

"Cesar is one of our longest-serving players and has proven to be a fantastic acquisition over the past six years," she said.

"His professionalism and consistency in that time have been second to none and he has also developed into one of the squad's most influential players.

"This new contract will take Cesar to 10 seasons at Chelsea, and we hope that over the next four years he will be a key part of our success."