Chelsea are close to agreeing a deal to sign Atletico Madrid left-back Filipe Luis in a move which seems set to put paid to speculation they would sign Southampton’s Stamford Bridge fan boy Luke Shaw.
The pair had been leading contenders for the role of long-term successor to Ashley Cole’s position on the Blues’ port side and The Telegraph reports the west London club are lining up a £16.5m bid for the Brazil-born defender.
Atleti’s three goals at Stamford Bridge were the first concessions Chelsea have made with the former Arsenal man on the pitch this term.
Normal service should be resumed when Premier-League lowest road scorers Norwich come a-calling whether Cole starts or not with a clean sheet for his colleagues rated an 83/100 shot.
With the 107-cap England international 33 years old and yet to agree an extension on a contract that runs out in the summer pouching a replacement is paramount.
It had seemed Chelsea would take advantage of the club’s place in the heart of promising Southampton man-child Shaw to whisk him away from the arms of Manchester United.
However, the advanced nature of their interest in Filipe Luis suggests that a swoop for the £27m-rated young Lion has been shifted to the back burner, with the Red Devils now frontrunners to land the Englishman.
Born to a Polish father, the Los Colchoneros first-choice (surname Kasmirski) is an exceptionally robust defenceman, averaging 4.2 tackles an outing in La Liga.
However, he still finds the time to indulge his creative side, averaging one key pass per appearance for Diego Simeone’s men in domestic league action.
Ten years Shaw’s senior he may be, but the fact remains that Filipe Luis is a far more proactive ball winner than the PFA team of the year member, who posts a comparatively modest mean of two dispossessions an outing in the Premier League.