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Chelsea Transfer News: Filipe Luis Bid Improved, Marcos Rojo Also Targeted

In this picture taken Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013 Atletico's Filipe Luis, from Brazil, seen at the Champions League group G soccer match between FC Porto and Atletico de Madrid, at the Dragao stadium in Porto, Portugal. Atletico won 2-1.(AP Photo/Paulo Duarte)
Paulo Duarte/Associated Press
Tom SunderlandFeatured ColumnistJuly 8, 2014

Ashley Cole's departure from Stamford Bridge had been expected for some time, but the Englishman's completion of a free transfer to Roma appears to have given Chelsea a clean slate to work with at left-back.

According to ESPN.co.uk, the Blues have increased their previous bid of £12 million for Atletico Madrid defender Filipe Luis to a sum of £15 million in an attempt to convince Los Rojiblancos into a sale.

MADRID, SPAIN - MAY 19:  Player Filipe Luis of Atletico de Madrid say goodbye leaving Club Atletico de Madrid press conference during the Media Day prior to UEFA Champions League Final between Club Atletico de Madrid and Real Madrid CF at Vicente Calderon
Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Per ESPN.co.uk's report, though, it's alleged the Spanish champions will hold out until the player's €24 million (£19 million) release clause is met, as the club strive to hang on to the top talents that brought them a La Liga crown this past season.

Filipe Luis was a grand part of that success, but last month, Sky Football's Matthew Stanger raised some concern with the figures being linked with his services, given his age:

Jose Mourinho has already brought Diego Costa to west London from the Vicente Calderon this summer, but now, the full-back area is in need of addressing, despite Cesar Azpilicueta's fine performances in his less familiar left-sided role last term.

Spanish newspaper Marca (h/t 101 Great Goals) reports that, when asked by reporters what his future holds upon returning to Atletico's pre-season training this week, Filipe Luis simply responded: "We'll see."

PORTO ALEGRE, BRAZIL - JUNE 25:  Marcos Rojo of Argentina celebrates scoring his team's third goal during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group F match between Nigeria and Argentina at Estadio Beira-Rio on June 25, 2014 in Porto Alegre, Brazil.  (Photo by
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

If the Spaniards prove too tiresome to break down, Chelsea may divert their attention to Portugal, where Sporting Lisbon's Marcos Rojo—currently impressing at the World Cup with Argentina—has been targeted, as per ESPN.co.uk's report.

ESPN FC's Dermot Corrigan quotes the central defender-cum-full-back on where his attention is focused, revealing that Rojo is seemingly open to the thought of a move away from the Primeira Liga:

Rojo has the added advantage of being able to play in both the core of the defence and at full-back, not too dissimilar from Branislav Ivanovic's own transformation.

If he were to arrive at Stamford Bridge, however, Rojo's major priority would be that of left-back, with John Terry, Gary Cahill and Kurt Zouma still giving Mourinho options in the centre.

At 24 years of age, Rojo certainly has a more long-term value than Filipe Luis, with the added bonus being that Sporting may not be capable of putting up the same fight to prevent their asset from leaving.

It's an area of his squad Mourinho will assuredly want accounted for as early as possible, and with Costa arriving on the back of Cesc Fabregas' capture, defence in the only portion of the roster yet to be improved.

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