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.
Chelsea's top 5 Brazilian players
A solid centre-back who always gave his all for Chelsea, Alex was a popular figure during the late 2000s and early 2010s.
A typically classy Brazilian with an eye for the spectacular, Oscar was a joy to watch at times, before surprisingly heading off to the Chinese Super League.
Ramires got every ounce out of his ability and was an influential performer for the Blues, winning the Champions League 2012. He scored a vital goal in the semi-final second leg away to Barcelona, and also netted in the 2012 FA Cup final against Liverpool.
2. David Luiz
Luiz has flourished during two different spells at Stamford Bridge, showcasing his technical brilliance at the back and proving to be a huge character.
Willian is now approaching the end of his sixth season at Chelsea, where he has been such a reliable performer. Fifty-two goals in 289 appearances is an impressive return from out wide.