Chelsea defender Cesar Azpilicueta has a deal ‘practically done’ with Barcelona to join them on a free transfer in the summer.

That’s according to El Chiringuito journalist Jose Alvarez, who says the Spanish defender is set to return to his homeland on a three-year deal.

Azpilicueta is out of contract with Chelsea in the summer, and so far, there have been no indications he will be extending his stay at Stamford Bridge.

That’s led to increased speculation regarding a return to Spain, where several sides, including Barcelona, have been linked with a move.

Barcelona are believed to value the Chelsea man highly, with his experience and ability to play several positions, something that manager Xavi desires.

They’ve been in talks over a possible deal for months, but that has ramped up in January, as Azpilicueta is free to negotiate a pre-contract agreement with clubs in Europe.

It seems that is something he is now close to doing, with Alvarez reporting that a deal is on the verge of being signed.

“We have been saying for a long time that Barca is interested, and I’ve now received a message that they went a step further than that,” he told El Chiringuito.

“They tell me that Cesar Azpilicueta is practically a done deal for Barcelona for June. I have been told that it is literally done, just as I was told about Ferran Torres.

“Azpilicueta is done by Barcelona, and they talk about a deal for three seasons, probably one of them optional.

“There are still some small details to be finalised, but Azpilicueta has an agreement with Barcelona to arrive in June on a free transfer.”