Ashley Cole’s departure from Stamford Bridge after an eight-year stint in west London means that the club are looking for a man to lead the new era at left-back.
Though Cesar Azpilicueta made the position his own last season with a string of impressive performances, manager Jose Mourinho is keen to add further options at full-back with squad depth proving an important factor at the top of the European game.
The report reveals that the La Liga champions refused to sell Luis initially due to Chelsea’s reluctance to meet his £19 million buyout clause, and though the latest offer also comes up short, the Blues will be hoping that Atletico will be tempted into letting their wantaway defender go.
However, with Mourinho already luring Atletico star Diego Costa away from the Spanish capital, it’s hard to see Diego Simeone letting another one of his stalwarts go.
That may be a blessing in disguise for the Blues, though, as Luis is hardly a long-term solution to Chelsea’s left-back needs—something that Sky Football’s Matthew Stanger agrees with:
It seems that the only team winning from either possible outcome of the Luis transfer saga is Atletico, and Mourinho would be sensible to look elsewhere.
Waiting elsewhere is Marcos Rojo, who has been one of the stars of Argentina’s road to the World Cup semi-finals in Brazil.
Rojo has been a subject of Chelsea’s transfer rumour mill of late, and Portuguese newspaper O Jogo reported that the Blues are interested in signing the Sporting Lisbon defender for a fee in the region of €15 million—per The Independent.
The 24-year-old has both youth and Chelsea’s finances on his side in the Luis vs. Rojo battle, but there’s so much more to the Lisbon man than that.
Similarly to Branislav Ivanovic, Rojo has the ability to fill in at centre-back as well as full-back, and fits Chelsea’s defensive style as a solid player that prioritises stability over attacking adventure.
Not that the Argentinian can’t be a threat at the other end of the pitch, though, scoring four league goals last season according to WhoScored.com and being a key outlet on Sporting’s left side.
Rojo also revealed that he could be open to a move away from the Portuguese capital, saying that any “tempting” offer would be considered—per journalist Jan Hagen:
Though Luis has experience that Rojo can’t match right now, come four years’ time, who knows where the exciting Argentinian’s career will be?
If it’s at Stamford Bridge, then he’ll be operating under the right staff to turn him into the kind of player that can rival Cole’s place at left-back in the Blues’ all-time Premier League XI.