Ashley Cole’s Chelsea replacement to follow teammate to Bridge
Chelsea’s pursuit of Atletico Madrid’s star striker Diego Costa is not exactly worthy of the ‘news flash’ tag, but the revelation that the Blues are also closing in on his teammate Filipe Luis certainly is.
It’s long been mooted that Ashley Cole, 33, is on borrowed time at Stamford Bridge having reached the twilight of his glittering career and Filipe’s potential arrival would rubber stamp that theory.
One national newspaper quotes a fee in the region of £16.5m for the Brazilian left-back will be enough to seal his transfer to Chelsea, while the Blues are still fully intent on activating Costa’s Atleti release clause to make it a double.
Filipe’s raiding runs down Chelsea’s right-flank were a key feature in Atletico’s convincing 3-1 win over Jose Mourinho’s side and now it appears the Portuguese boss wishes the 28-year-old to perform such heroics in royal Blue next season.
Such investment in his squad was always going to be on the cards no matter whether Chelsea’s season ended in success or not, as Mourinho has been typically blunt about the need to strengthen.
But now an unlikely Premier League title – priced at 14/1 with Ladbrokes – is Chelsea’s only hope of silverware this season, that recruitment drive has taken on added significance.
It’s nothing new for Chelsea to go out and buy talent which has harmed their own cause during a season either.
The most recent example was when the Blues forked out £11m for Mohamed Salah in January, after the Egyptian winger left Stamford Bridge shell-shocked when scoring in a 2-1 Basel victory in the Champions League group stage.
As for Cole, the man Filipe will dislodge if the transfer transpires, his reputation as arguably the best left-back in the Premier League era means the likes of leaders Liverpool may still be willing to give him a new home next term.
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