Transfer business between Chelsea and Atletico Madrid has become quite common during the Premier League era, with five different players moving between the two clubs since the 1992/93 season.
However, far from that relationship prompting free movement across Northern Europe, the Spanish side are doing all they can to prevent the Blues from nabbing another of their vaunted stars.
News that the Londoners are interested in a move for Los Colchoneros forward Yannick Carrasco has been met with resistance in Madrid.
Diego Simeone’s club are now expected to open contract negotiations with the Belgian international, according to the Daily Mirror, in an attempt to shoo the Blues away.
Although Carrasco is contracted to the 2013/14 La Liga champions until 2020, his deal reportedly contains a release clause of just £35m.
That is mere pocket change in today’s transfer market and Atletico’s suits want to increase the minimum release fee substantially in a new contract for their man.
The 23-year-old has steadily improved at the Vicente Calderon Stadium since signing from Monaco in 2015.
He scored the equalising goal in last season’s Champions League final against local rivals Real Madrid and has started five of the club’s seven league games so far this term.
Able to play anywhere across the forward line, Carrasco’s versatility would make him a viable replacement for any of Chelsea’s current attacking options.
The likes of Eden Hazard and Willian are never too far away from speculation about their futures, with the latter being linked with a move to Paris Saint-Germain most recently.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing