Barcelona are reportedly leading the chase for Filipe Luis, with the Brazilian’s Atletico Madrid contract set to expire in the summer.
Spanish publication Marca have speculated that Barcelona might just be landing a cost friendly backup for Jordi Alba after all. The Catalan giants have been scouring for cheap options to add depth to the left side of the back four and seem to have found their solution in Filipe Luis, whose Atletico Madrid contract is up for expiry at the end of June, 2019.
The report states that there have been no talks of a new contract being offered to the Brazilian, which means Luis is set to call time on his career with Atletico Madrid and move on to new adventures. Marca further add that Barcelona are the frontrunners to land the veteran.
Filipe Luis has had a somewhat satisfying footballing career to date. The 33-year-old has spent eight years at Atletico Madrid with a brief spell at Chelsea in between. And while the Chelsea stint ended after only a season, Luis still managed to get his hands on the Premier League and the League Cup, which is now called the Carabao Cup.
Luis has won six trophies with Atletico Madrid and has also been on the losing side of two Champions League finals with Los Rojiblancos. But, after 240 appearances for the La Liga giants, it is finally time to seek a new club, with Atleti reportedly not interested in offering the 33-year-old an extension. Luckily, Barcelona do hold an interest, according to the report.
Barcelona have Jordi Alba, who has been a loyal servant to the club. But, the lack of competition has seen the Spaniard retain his starting spot even during his bouts of inconsistencies. Barcelona have, as a result, struggled defensively on several occasions due to over-reliance on the same faces.
Ernesto Valverde was reportedly on the brink of being sacked. But, with reports stating that the Barcelona board is set to back him in the transfer market and give him another year, a move for Filipe Luis makes sense, especially with the club also looking to deal in mega stars like Neymar and Matthijs de Ligt.
Luis is well experienced in La Liga and has played at the highest level of European club football for almost 10 years. That the player will be available for free will be a bonus for Barcelona. Given his age, the club is likely targeting him as a short-term backup before they move for someone else after a season or two, or maybe promote from within.
The 33-year-old will also offer a slightly different dimension on the left compared to the speeding presence of Jordi Alba, who is more focused on his attacking contribution.
A move to Barcelona would also be viable for Luis as it will ensure he stays in the same league while having a statistically better chance of grabbing trophies. With Luis having spent more than 10 years in Europe, the move is unlikely to be troublesome for Barcelona as the 33-year-old is unlikely to block any Non-EU spots within the squad.