Jose Mourinho confirms imminent departure of Felipe Luis from Chelsea
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has confirmed that Felipe Luis will be leaving the club soon, a statement on Chelsea’s official website read. Mourinho also stressed that he will continue with his like-for-like replacement policy and step up the search for a left-back if the Brazilian does leave Stamford Bridge.
Speaking at a press conference ahead of the club’s pre-season opener against New York Red Bulls in the International Champions Cup, Mourinho added that the sale of Luis could be completed as early as tomorrow. Though the self-proclaimed Special One didn’t mention the 29-year-old’s possible destination, speculation has been rife that Luis would be heading back to Atletico Madrid.
“In this moment we need a left-back because I think we are selling Felipe Luis now or tomorrow,” Mourinho said. ”We need to go the market, we need to find a club that accepts a bid before 31 August, and we are going for a left-back. In other positions we have no space.”
Luis moved to Stamford Bridge just last summer after impressing for Atletico Madrid in a dream campaign which saw them clinching the La Liga title pipping Barcelona and narrowly miss out on UEFA Champions League glory to city rivals Real Madrid. He joined Diego Costa and Thibaut Courtois in making the move from Vicente Calderon, but while the other two became an integral part of the squad, Luis found opportunities hard to come by and had to play second-fiddle to Cesar Azpilicueta.
Luis heading back to Atletico Madrid
Luis made only 24 appearances for Chelsea in the 2014/15 season in all competitions and with age not on his side, is wasting no time to find a solution and was keen on a return to Atletico. The Spanish club for their part would welcome Luis back with open arms.
Earlier in the month, Atletico manager Diego Simeone didn’t hide his intentions when speaking about the Brazil international.
"He's a player we're very fond of and he knows us well and gave so much to the team," Simeone said, according to The Express. "I hope this one comes off."
The destination for Luis is all but confirmed now with Atletico president Enrique Cerezo confirming that a deal for the Brazilian would be completed shortly.
“Filipe’s missing, I don’t think it’ll take long for him to come in,” Cerezo said yesterday, according to Spanish daily AS.
Chelsea could replace Luis with Baba Rahman
With Mourinho making his intentions clear, rumours have been circulating about the possible replacement for Luis, but if reports in The Guardian are to be believed it is going to be Ghana international Baba Rahman.
The reports claim that Chelsea have raced ahead of Italian clubs Juventus and Roma in the pursuit of the 21-year-old, with FC Augsburg believed to be holding out for a fee in excess of £14 million.