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.
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:
Filipe Luis is great, but €25m is a lot to pay for a left-back who will be 29 in August. Surprised Ricardo Rodríguez isn't attracting offers— Matthew Stanger (@MatthewStanger) June 16, 2014
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."
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:
Argentina LB/ CB Marcos Rojo this week "Obviously I would like to play at Barcelona, but I have not yet spoken at all with Leo about it.”— Dermot Corrigan (@dermotmcorrigan) June 21, 2014
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.
Who should be Chelsea's priority?
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.