Chelsea have put a €10m price on defender Cesar Azpilicueta in an effort to ward off Barcelona’s attempts to sign him.

That’s according to Sport, who say the Blues ‘went out of their way’ to set their price on the player and are even using data to justify their demands.

The newspaper reaffirms that Azpilicueta remains one of Barcelona’s ‘main targets’ this summer but the operation to sign him has not been an easy one.

He had been set to be a free agent, but Chelsea activated a clause in his contract that added another year to his deal, thus meaning Barcelona had to negotiate a transfer instead.

At the moment, all three parties are playing their cards. Azpilicueta wants to leave Chelsea; Barcelona want to sign him ‘at all costs’, but Chelsea are trying to keep him.

They have ‘deployed all their artillery’ to try to stop the defender from leaving Stamford Bridge, first demanding €10m for him.

That’s a figure they know is too high given his age and Barca’s ‘meagre financial means’.

Their intention was to scare off Barcelona, but that’s not happened, and the Catalans continue to insist on lowering the price.

The second strategy is to convince Azpilicueta himself, using a ‘curious mix’ between personal empathy and data.

For the latter, those in charge at Stamford Bridge have reportedly shown the Spaniard his data from last season to prove it would be impossible to replace him this summer.

The player, though, wants to play for Barca, considering now the perfect time to make the move.

He’s not given in to Chelsea’s efforts and, according to Sport, ‘will be Barca’s before 31 August’.