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Chelsea's latest Atletico Madrid target, Filipe Luis

The 28-year-old left-back is the
latest star from the Spanish
champions whom Jose Mourinho has
earmarked to recapture the muscular
dominance of his earlier days at
Stamford Bridge
If you can't beat them, buy them.
That seems to be the philosophy of
Jose Mourinho, who is targeting key
Atletico Madrid players who
ruthlessly dispatched his Chelsea
side from the Champions League
semi-finals last season.
With Diego Costa imminently set to
conclude a £35 million move to
Stamford Bridge and 21-year-old
Thibaut Courtois to return from his
loan to oust Petr Cech as No.1
goalkeeper , Filipe Luis is the latest
Rojiblancos star to whom the Special
One is looking to bolster his ranks
for next term.
Following Ashley Cole's departure
and with England starlet Luke Shaw
likely to sign a £160,000-a-week deal
with Manchester United , Goal
understands that Mourinho's pursuit
for a left-back has led him to
advanced talks over a £20m move for
the 28-year-old Brazil international.
Diego Simeone has already prepared
for Luis's departure by signing
Guilherme Siqueira from Benfica but
the left-back's exit will be a bitter
pill for Atleti to swallow after such a
stunning 2013-14 campaign.
The Brazilian was a key figure for the
club last season as they won La Liga,
playing 32 times in a back line that
conceded just 26 goals en route to
the title, edging out Real Madrid
and Barcelona despite a far inferior
The defender won 82 tackles in the
Primera Division in 2013-14, with his
no-nonsense approach on the floor
and in the air allied with calm
distribution - achieving an 80 per
cent pass completion rate - typifying
Simeone's ruthless, physical
Luis began his career at Brazilian
club Figueirense before making a
switch to Ajax in 2004 and was then
snapped up by Real Madrid in 2005.
The defender spent the season with
their B-team, however, and was then
snapped up by Deportivo in 2006,
establishing himself as first choice
during 2007-08 following Joan
Capdevila's departure.
Having returned to action just four
months after a devastating leg injury
in 2010, Luis impressed Simeone
enough to earn a move to the
Estadio Vicente Calderon that
He helped Atletico to a Copa del Rey
triumph in 2013 before the heroics
of this season, after which Filipe's
agent confirmed Chelsea's interest in
the player - and Goal Spain's Ander
Bilbao believes that Luis is the
"ideal" candidate to succeed Cole at
Stamford Bridge.
"Last season, Luis was one of the top
defenders in La Liga in his position,"
he enthuses. "The Brazilian has
reached the very peak of his game
after arriving from Deportivo and has
been an irreplaceable player for
"Atletico offered him an improved
contract but he seems to have
decided that Stamford Bridge is the
place to be."
Having won the title and reached
the final of the Champions League
with Atleti, only to see Chelsea begin
to pick off key players, Luis seems to
have decided that a new challenge
lies ahead - and the move certainly
works for the Blues.
Cesar Azpilicueta - a right-back by
trade - ousted Cole from his role on
the left last term but is understood
to favour playing on his natural
flank, while Ryan Bertrand was
loaned out to Aston Villa after
becoming desperate for playing time.
With one eye on Financial Fair Play
regulations, a move for Shaw proved
prohibitive for Mourinho, despite the
18-year-old's fine form for
Southampton and boyhood
allegiance to Chelsea.
At 28 and with a wealth of
experience, Luis is the right age and
the right price for Chelsea and could
make the left-back position at
Stamford Bridge his own. He may
not necessarily be a long-term
solution in the mould of Shaw but
Mourinho rarely looks beyond the
present when building title-winning
If the Brazilian can adapt to life in
England quickly then Mourinho will
have filled in another piece of the
jigsaw as he attempts to recreate
the muscular dominance of his early
Chelsea teams.
Luis may not have been selected for
the World Cup by Luis Felipe Scolari
but make no mistake - Chelsea are
signing an absolute gem of a player,
as Atleti fans can painfully attest.
Despite Mourinho's tempestuous
time in Spain with Madrid, he is
using his experience to target the
best of the Primera Division's talent
to ply their trade in London - and
Luis looks like a promising addition.

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Posted By bobricky On 03:58 Tue, 17 Jun 2014

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