herald

Tuesday 24 October 2017

Luis fills void left by Cole

CHELSEA have reached an agreement with Atletico Madrid to sign Brazilian left-back Filipe Luis.

The 28-year-old, who is yet to agree personal terms at Stamford Bridge, is poised to become the Blues' second signing from Atletico in the last 24 hours after striker Diego Costa completed a transfer to London on Tuesday.

A statement published on Chelsea's official website read: "Chelsea Football Club can confirm an agreement has been reached with Atletico Madrid for the transfer of Filipe Luis."

Luis - a Primera Division winner with Atletico, who also reached the Champions League final in May - has an opportunity to replace Ashley Cole at Chelsea's first-choice left-back in the long-term.

After missing much of the 2013-14 season through injury, veteran England defender Cole left Chelsea on a free transfer in June and has since joined Roma.

Natural right-back Cesar Azpilicueta proved an able deputy to Cole as Chelsea finished third in the Premier League, but Filipe Luis' arrival will allow the Spaniard to return to his preferred flank.

Filipe Luis joined Atleti from Deportiva La Coruna in 2010 and has made 98 appearances in all competitions for the Madrid side, winning the Europa League in 2012 and the Copa del Rey in 2013 before becoming a league champion.

He has four Brazil caps and was placed on Luiz Felipe Scolari's standby list for the 2014 World Cup in his homeland.

Meanwhile, Chelsea striker Demba Ba (pictured right) is excited at the prospect of his imminent transfer to Turkish side Besiktas.

The Senegal striker announced on Besiktas' website that he is on the verge of completing a move to the Turkish outfit.

The 29-year-old is in Istanbul and posed with the number nine Besiktas jersey that he will wear once his reported £8million transfer fee is done.

"The interest shown by the fans and the new stadium project won me over," Ba said.

"I'm very happy to be here, all that is left is a few formalities, I will undergo a medical and sign the contract.

"I am excited to be here and can't wait to start playing.

"I want to showcase my talent to the fans as soon as possible, this is a huge club and I want to become a part of it.

"I want to thank the fans for their warm welcome and I am sure we are going to establish a great relationship."

Ba joined Chelsea in January 2013 from Newcastle.

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