Football

Published: Thursday July 17, 2014 MYT 1:02:00 AM
Updated: Thursday July 17, 2014 MYT 5:23:55 PM

Chelsea agree deal to sign Atletico defender Filipe Luis

Brazilian player Filipe Luis speaks during a press conference in Cerro del Espino sports complex, in Majadahonda, near Madrid on Wednesday. — EPA

Brazilian player Filipe Luis speaks during a press conference in Cerro del Espino sports complex, in Majadahonda, near Madrid on Wednesday. — EPA

LONDON (Reuters) - Chelsea have reached an agreement to sign Brazilian left back Filipe Luis from Spanish champions Atletico Madrid, the Premier League club said on Wednesday.

The 28-year-old Luis is expected to join Chelsea after the two clubs agreed a fee reported to be 20 million euros (15.7 million pounds) according to Spanish newspaper Marca.

"Atletico Madrid and Chelsea have reached an agreement for the transfer of Filipe Luis pending a medical by the English club," Atletico said in a statement.

"The Brazilian footballer communicated to us at the end of season of his wish to join the London club."

Chelsea have been in search of a left back after allowing Ashley Cole to leave on a free transfer at the end of last season and Luis, who joined Atletico in 2010, is looking forward to a new challenge.

"I never thought about leaving Atletico but I took the decision because of the offer which came from Chelsea," Luis told a news conference in Madrid.

"A change of team gives new hunger and ambition, and I was worried about being too comfortable here. A footballer's career is very short and I want to finish it in a strong and spectacular way."

Luis helped knock Chelsea out of the Champions League last term and he will become the second Atletico player to join the west Londoners during the close season after striker Diego Costa completed his move to Stamford Bridge on Tuesday.

"I have always liked Chelsea a lot. I watch a lot of the Premier League and it is a club where you can feel the warmth of the fans," said Luis, who has been capped four times by Brazil.

"When we played there in the Champions League I felt comfortable in their stadium and when the offer came I thought it was the ideal team for me to play for in England."

Midfielder Tiago Mendes, a former Chelsea player, is also expected to rejoin Jose Mourinho's side after his contract at Atletico expired, while goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, who has spent the last three seasons on loan at the Calderon club, will return to Stamford Bridge.

(Reporting By Michael Hann, Additional Reporting by Tim Hanlon; Editing by Neville Dalton)

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