Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is expecting to lose Filipe Luis in the summer transfer window, and is close to signing Augsburg youngster Abdul Rahman Baba as his replacement.
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The Express state that the former Atletico Madrid left-back is certain to return to the Estadio Vicente Calderon in the coming months, as Diego Simeone has confirmed his desire to re-sign the Brazilian [via the Daily Star].
The British newspaper claim that the Blues’ Portuguese manager will allow the Brazil international to return to the Spanish capital, and has earmarked Baba as the man capable of becoming Cesar Azpilicueta’s new rival in west London.
At 20-years-old, the Ghana international already has 15 senior international caps, and has been in impressive form in the Bundesliga – making 29 appearances last term.
He registered four assists in the 2014-15 campaign, and his defensive stats were equally notable. The SGL arena star averaged 3.5 tackles, 2.7 interceptions and 2.8 clearances in Germany’s top flight, helping Augsburg to finish fifth – their highest-ever position – and to qualify for the Europa League.
Baba broke into the Black Stars set-up after the 2014 World Cup, and immediately became the national side’s first-choice left-back. He starred at the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations, helping Avram Grant’s side to the final of the continental showpiece.
Filipe Luis made just nine Premier League starts in his debut campaign at Stamford Bridge, and looks unlikely to enjoy improved playing next season with Azpilicueta commanding the defensive position, which could have persuaded him to seek an exit.
Despite his limited minutes, however, the 29-year-old has been excellent when called upon. In five Champions League appearances, he averaged 4.6 tackles, two interceptions and 1.6 clearances. Meanwhile in England’s top flight he recorded an average of 3.1 tackles per game. His stats therefore suggest that he should be playing regular first-team football.