Chelsea's Cesar Azpilicueta to sign long-term extension - sources

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Cesar Azpilicueta has agreed a new long-term extension to his Chelsea contract that commits him to the club until at least June 2022, sources have confirmed to ESPN FC.

A formal announcement of the deal -- which will reportedly see Azpilicueta's wages rise to around £150,000-a-week -- is expected in the coming days.

Azpilicueta, whose previous deal ran to the summer of 2020, follows Marcos Alonso and N'Golo Kante in committing his long-term future to Chelsea in recent weeks.

Chelsea's top priority remains persuading star winger Eden Hazard to spurn significant interest from Real Madrid by signing a new contract, and sources have told ESPN FC that they are prepared to pay the Belgian more than the £290,000-a-week package that Kante agreed earlier this month.

But with Hazard minded to keep his options open until the end of the season, Chelsea are wasting no time tying down several other members of their core to lucrative extensions.

Azpilicueta, affectionately nicknamed "Dave" by supporters, has been Chelsea's most consistent defender since arriving at Stamford Bridge from Marseille for £7 million in August 2012.

Performing solidly at left-back under Jose Mourinho, centre-back for Antonio Conte and now right-back under Maurizio Sarri, Azpilicueta started 74 consecutive Premier League matches before being rested by Conte in November 2017, and has made 298 appearances for the club in all competitions.

He was appointed Chelsea vice-captain following the departure of John Terry in the summer of 2017, and has invariably worn the armband on the pitch this season with club captain Gary Cahill finding himself outside Sarri's first-team plans in the Premier League.

Chelsea still have contract decisions to make about Cahill, David Luiz, Cesc Fabregas and Olivier Giroud, all of whom are set to be free agents at the end of the season.