La Liga champ hell bent on helping Chelsea balance their defence

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Ever since Ashley Cole was ushered, walking stick in hand, out of Stamford Bridge and told to start finding retirement homes, Chelsea have had their eyes on one man to replace the former England international.

No other left-backs have been linked to the Blues other than Atletico Madrid’s Filipe Luis this summer and it seems the player, just as much as the club, want to push through a deal.

The Brazilian, despite winning the La Liga title and finishing as the Champions League’s runner up, is at odds with the club having rejected their offer of a new contract earlier in the summer.

His refusal to discuss terms prompted Chelsea’s interest but, such is their anger at Luis’ decision, Atletico have declined the 28-year-old’s request to lower his buy-out clause, which currently stands at £19m.

As soon as an agreement can be reached between all parties, Luis will become the third Los Colchonero to make a switch to Stamford Bridge this summer.

Rather than Diego Costa or Tiago, though, the Brazilian’s move to west London is arguably more important as it will help balance out the Blues’ defence.

Having lost faith in Cole, Jose Mourinho took to playing Cesar Azpilicueta on the flank he’s least accustomed to last season, but Luis’ arrival would allow the Special One to play a natural left-footer in the position.

What that means to the rest of the Chelsea defence, who are 2/1 to claim the Premier League title this term, remains to be seen, but the signing will certainly leave Mourinho with options aplenty.

A tough choice will have to be made at right-back with Azpilicueta challenging Branislav Ivanovic, while there’s a case to move the Serb inside to provide John Terry and Gary Cahill with some competition.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.