Despite boasting the Premier League's tightest defence last season, Chelsea look to be keen on bolstering their back line ahead of the 2014/15 campaign.
Jose Mourinho loves his teams to be cohesive and disciplined, and even though they have already acquired the services of Kurt Zouma for the upcoming campaign, per BBC Sport, the Portuguese boss is seemingly intent on fashioning an impenetrable defence by bringing in further reinforcements.
There have been developments in the futures of three defenders who have been linked with a move to Stamford Bridge. Here’s the very latest on their situations and how they would potentially fare with the Blues.
AS Roma's sporting director Walter Sabatini has claimed that rumoured Chelsea target Benatia is worth €61 million.
Reports earlier this week suggested that the Blues were to make a bid for the player of £18 million plus Romelu Lukaku, per Anthony Chapman of the Express, but Sabatini doesn't expect the club to sell the player for any less than the aforementioned figure as noted here by the Roma Twitter account:
#Sabatini: "Personally I think 30 million is the value of Benatia's weak foot"— AS Roma (@OfficialASRoma) May 31, 2014
#Sabatini: "Benatia is not for sale, unless someone comes to us with an offer of 61 million"— AS Roma (@OfficialASRoma) May 31, 2014
The Moroccan international enjoyed a stellar campaign with the Italians, leading to links with the likes of Chelsea and Premier League champions Manchester City. Here's what supporters can expect, should the player make the move to England:
With David Luiz looking all but certain to move to Paris Saint-Germain, per BBC Sport, Benatia is a player that could certainly that void. WhoScored.com gives us a rundown of his best and worst attributes here:
Mehdi Benatia: Characteristics - strengths, weaknesses, style of play pic.twitter.com/1ptLXYZT3j— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) May 30, 2014
Stylistically, he is a player much more in the Mourinho mould. Benatia is an uncompromising defender who uses his ability to read the game, composure in possession and brute physicality to great effect.
But it looks highly unlikely that Chelsea would splash out anywhere near Sabatini's asking price, especially in a position they are currently very well stocked.
Chelsea's hopes of hijacking Manchester United's deal for Luke Shaw were dealt a blow, as it was reported that the Red Devils have resumed negotiations with Southampton over the player's signature.
Which left-back should Chelsea go after?
According to BBC Radio Solent (h/t BBC Sport), the south-coast club have already rejected a £27 million bid for the player, but they are keen to continue negotiations over a possible deal.
United have looked favourites to sign Shaw for a long time now, but it was reported earlier this week that Chelsea were considering making a bid for the player, per Simon Jones of the Mail Online.
The club are in need of a left-back after letting Ashley Cole walk away, and the 18-year-old Shaw could potentially fill that slot for years.
Kevin Palmer of ESPN FC claims that United are the only club to lodge an official bid for Shaw, but you suspect that the left-back—who is a Chelsea supporter—would certainly be tempted by a move to Stamford Bridge should they lodge a serious interest.
The Brazilian full-back looks as though he'll be staying at the Vicente Calderon for the time being after the player's agent warned Atletico Madrid will not entertain any offers for the player.
Luis was vital to the Atletico cause last season, which saw the team win the Spanish league title and go within a whisker of Champions League glory, too. But despite reported interest from Chelsea, the player's agent Garcia Quilon has insisted the Spaniards are desperate to preserve their core of talent, per Hannah Duncan of Metro:
The interest is there, but Atletico will not sell.
They are determined to keep much of the block for next season. We’ll see what is happening with different players, but the intention is not to sell to anyone.
It's easy to see why Mourinho would be interested in the 28-year-old. Not only is the Brazilian a danger going forward, but he is a superb defender and an unyielding energetic presence up and down the left flank.
beIN Sports' Andres Cordero doesn't think there are many better left-backs around than Luis, who was left out of the Brazil World Cup squad:
Is there a better left back than Filipe Luis on any World Cup roster?— Andres Cordero (@DreCordero) May 24, 2014
You imagine that it may take a substantial offer for the Spanish champions to consider cashing in. But could they really afford to turn down a bid around the £20 million mark for a player approaching 30 years of age? You suspect not.