Atletico Madrid are providing Chelsea with fresh competition for the signing of Thiago Mendes, according to Globoesporte.

The Blues have been linked with a move for the Lille central midfielder this summer, as Maurizio Sarri looks to boost his options in the middle of the park.

Atletico’s interest is believed to be “strong”, however, with the Liga outfit clearly an enticing option for any player.

Everton are also reportedly monitoring the 27-year-old, but it is unlikely that they will acquire his signature over the others mentioned.

Mendes himself has distanced himself from rumours for the time being, saying his sole focus is on helping Lille qualify for next season’s Champions League:

I think at the moment only to create the team to move into the Champions League.

Afterwards nobody knows what will happen tomorrow.

Chelsea’s midfield has been widely criticised this season, due mainly to it’s supposed one-dimensional nature.

The likes of Jorginho, N’Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic, Ross Barkley and Ruben Loftus-Cheek have all offered moments of quality, but there is a feeling that they are all too similar.

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