Chelsea are on the verge of allowing left-back Filipe Luis to rejoin former club Atletico Madrid, with the Brazilian defender leaving Stamford Bridge after one underwhelming campaign at Stamford Bridge.
With the marauding full-back joining former team-mates Diego Costa and Thibaut Courtois at the West London club, hopes were high that the South American could be a real star for Jose Mourinho’s men.
However, largely due to the superb and unheralded form of Cesar Azpilicueta, Luis is set to move back to his former employers to secure regular first-team football.
Although Azpilicueta remains the first choice in the position for the current Premier League champions, the Blues will need to replace Luis.
The recruitment mission is made slightly more difficult by the fact that the West London club are in the market for a back-up option, with the new addition having to accept the fact that there will be long periods of watching on from the sidelines.
With this in mind, here are THREE potential replacements for Luis at Chelsea.
The player most frequently mentioned as an option to replace Luis is Augsburg’s promising defender Baba Rahman.
The 21-year-old has matured over the last 12 months of Bundesliga action and was one of the heroes in the modest German club’s overachievement in the 2014-15 campaign.
His rise to prominence at club level has been replicated in the international arena, with Rahman making an impression over the last year with Ghana, too.
A defender in demand and with a bright future, it is only natural that the Tamale-born star is being linked with a move to West London.
With the work-rate, discipline and ability on the front foot to fit into Mourinho’s system, Rahman seems like a perfect replacement for Luis – but is seems a shame to have him sit on the bench for long periods.
Mourinho knows this versatile defender well from their mutual time at the Santiago Bernabeu; as such Coentrao seems like a viable option for Chelsea.
The Portugal international has shown over the years that he is a top-drawer defender and a player that can add excitement as an attacking weapon also.
Coentrao has had mixed fortunes since swapping Benfica for Los Blancos, with Brazilian defender Marcelo claiming the starting berth on more occasions than not.
A move seems practical for the full-back this summer, with Mourinho knowing he can count on the experienced full-back to add to the Chelsea squad if he was to arrive.
Two years ago Lucas Digne was deemed as one of the brightest prospects in French football – exactly why Paris Saint-Germain snapped the left-back up from domestic rivals Lille.
However, over two campaigns at the Parc des Princes, the 22-year-old has found first-team opportunities hard to come by, with experienced Brazilian defender Maxwell claiming the starting left-back position more often than not.
Laurent Blanc has confessed that Digne has made requests to leave the French capital this summer and his next employer will be graced with a very able player.
Digne is fast, purposeful and a diligent defender and as such would be an exciting acquisition to Mourinho’s contingent.
Just whether he is good enough to usurp Azpilicueta at this moment remains to be seen, but Digne is full of potential and would be an excellent addition to Chelsea’s squad this summer.