Chelsea seem to have made camp underneath the blossoming Atletico Madrid tree, and are now in the process of cherry-picking its finest creations. The Blues are closing in on a £32m deal for striker Diego Costa, have reportedly sealed a return for Portuguese midfielder Tiago, and now, according to Spanish paper ‘Marca‘, Mourinho is willing to match the €24m release clause for star left-back Filipe Luis.
Although the Brazilian will turn 29 in just a few months, his performances this season, particularly in Atletico’s Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid, have persuaded Chelsea to throw their wallet the way of the La Liga champions in order to secure him for next season.
While €24m is a lot for any defender, let alone one approaching his thirties, Filipe Luis is one of the best left sided defenders in the business at present, and should his arrival herald four glittering years of success for the Blues, the money would surely be worthwhile?
There is one problem, however.
The excellent Cesar Azpilicueta, who has established himself as a first-teamer last season, deserves to keep his place at Stamford Bridge, and the arrival of Filipe Luis would potentially put him out of a job.
The Spaniard was many fans’ Chelsea player of the year last season, thriving on the competition provided by stalwart Ashley Cole. Indeed, the departing 33-year-old said that he himself would pick ‘Azpi’ as his standout player of the 2013/14 season.
There is surely no room for Filipe Luis, and considering that, why spend a large chunk of the transfer kitty in bringing him to West London.
The one point that should be made for the signing the Brazilian is that there have been sporadic rumours linking Azpilicueta with a move to European Champions Real Madrid.
Albeit coming in when Azpi was out of the loop at the beginning of last season, there were whispers from Italy that both Real and Barcelona were interested in bringing the 24-year-old to Spain.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side currently have young Daniel Carvajal and former Liverpool man Alvaro Arbeloa as right-backs in the squad (Azpi’s natural position),and while they both have performed when needed, the transfer policy at the club dictates the constant changing of the guard to be able to put out the most impressively assembled side in the world.
Carvajal, who is just ahead of Arbeloa in the first XI, is not so secure so as to be able to dismiss a Real swoop for a star like Azpilicueta, who could be tempted by the chance of a return to his home country, and a starting berth in his favoured right-hand role for Los Blancos.