Before Atletico launched a last-minute approach and swiftly established themselves as the favorites to close a deal, the Spaniard had personally agreed to terms with Inter and was anticipated to complete a move to Serie A.
As a sign of respect for their captain, whose 11-year stay at Stamford Bridge has finally come to an end, Chelsea agreed to give Azpilicueta a free transfer even though he still had one year left on his contract.
Azpilicueta promised to visit Stamford Bridge again in the future in a lengthy farewell message he posted to Chelsea supporters before finalizing his transfer.
The versatile defender, who played well on the left and in the center while being predominantly a right-back, made a staggering 508 appearances for Chelsea, contributing 17 goals and a creditable 56 assists.
He is sixth on Chelsea’s list of all-time appearances and has appeared in more matches for the club than any foreign player in club history, 14 more than Petr Cech of the Czech Republic.
For the first time since leaving Osasuna for Marseille in 2010, Azpilicueta is currently back in La Liga. He currently has 99 appearances in the division, and when he plays for Atletico, he will reach 100.