Spaniard has become only a bit-part player under Mourinho this season.
La Liga outfit Athletic Bilbao want to sign experienced Chelsea defender Cesar Azpilicueta as soon as the transfer window reopens for business at the turn of the year, according to reports in the Daily Express.
The highly rated Spain international has barely featured so far in this campaign under returning Chelsea head coach Jose Mourinho, despite shining in the right-back role for the west London club in the previous campaign.
In this season to date, the 24-year-old has been picked to play in just the one Premier League match in total by the self-styled ‘Special One’, with the Portuguese instead preferring to utilise Serbian full-back Branislav Ivanovic in that position.
However, in stark contrast last time out, initially under manager Roberto Di Matteo, and then ‘interim’ Blues boss Rafa Benitez, Azpilicueta played in 48 fixtures in total in all competitions for Chelsea, including 27 times in the Premier League.
And now in light of the Spaniard’s relegation to the substitutes’ bench under ‘Mou’, Bilbao are said to be lining up an audacious move for Azpilicueta in the January transfer window, with the Basques understood to be on the look-out at present for a long-term replacement for current right-back Androni Iraola at the San Mames.