Chelsea have recouped the £15.8m transfer fee they paid last summer for left-back Filipe Luis by selling the Brazilian back to Atletico Madrid for the same price, leaving Jose Mourinho in the market for a replacement.
Luis, 29, has not reached the heights the Chelsea manager expected of him, with the plan that he would challenge Cesar Azpilicueta for the left-back position in the team. Nevertheless, the club feel that they have lost nothing in the deal overall, with Atletico agreeing to pay the same price they sold Filipe for last summer.
Reports from Spain have suggested the deal was worth just £11m for a player who turns 30 next month but Chelsea are confident they have got their money back.
Luis was part of the squad that won a Premier League title and the Capital One Cup but he made just nine starts in the league. In keeping with Mourinho’s desire to keep squad numbers low and move on players whom he feels do not have a Chelsea future – Juan Mata, David Luiz, André Schürrle, Ryan Bertrand, Mohamed Salah and potentially Juan Cuadrado, among them – he has acted swiftly with Luis.
The replacement Chelsea want as cover at left-back for Azpilicueta, conventionally a right-sided player, is Augsburg’s Ghana international Abdul Baba Rahman, 21. That is the transfer that Chelsea are set on making happen but should it fail they have looked at Galatasaray’s Brazilian left-back, Alex Telles, 22.
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The club are still determined to sign the England international defender John Stones from Everton and will return with another bid for him. Historically, Chelsea have been persistent in their pursuit of players and, Wayne Rooney aside two years ago, have rarely failed when a target has been identified.
A fee of more than £30m would force Everton to reconsider their not-for-sale stance on the 21-year-old. There has been no discouragement for Chelsea, overt or otherwise, from the player’s camp. There remains hope that, in the centre-back position, the academy-produced 19-year-old Andreas Christensen, already a full Denmark international, can make the step up into the first team squad in time. He will spend the forthcoming season on loan at Borussia Mönchengladbach.
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