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Atlético Madrid willing to take Marcos Alonso off Chelsea’s hands, just like they did with Álvaro Morata

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Wales v Spain - International Friendly Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images

Chelsea may or may not dip a couple toes into the January transfer market waters on the incoming side of things, but we look almost certain to jump in deep on the outgoing side.

We have several veterans on expiring contracts and most of them are not really involved — all except the two Willies, Willian and Willy Caballero, are seeing less action than they might have been expecting. The January transfer window thus offers them a chance to find minutes elsewhere, and still allows Chelsea to collect a token transfer fee to add to the transfer budget.

But outgoing action may extend beyond just the likes of Olivier Giroud and Pedro. Marcos Alonso, 28 going on 82, had one (extended) run in the team so far this season, when Emerson was injured, but he’s not been seen since getting hooked at half-time of the 4-4 against Ajax — literally: not even among the substitutes on the bench in the last seven games in all competitions. César Azpilicueta, who made his name as a left back under Mourinho Mk.II, was drafted back into that role to rotate with Emerson henceforth.

Alonso had similarly lost his place to Emerson last seasons. After being a mainstay for 2.5 years (mostly under Conte) and earning a new long-term contract, his playing time has been eroding slowly but surely. He’s now started just 10 of our last 27 Premier League games after once starting 55 of 57 (after another watershed substitution saw him enter the fray against Arsenal as Conte introduced the 3-4-3).

That contract however limits Chelsea’s options. Alonso’s signed on (presumably big wages) through 2023, and that’s not an easy financial burden to offload. But that’s where Atlético Madrid come in.

Our long-standing transfer business partners, who’ve taken the likes of underperforming high earners Álvaro Morata and Fernando Torres off our hands in recent years, are apparently willing to do so again. Spanish radio COPE claim that they’re trying to bring in Alonso using the “same formula” they used with Morata: loan with an option/obligation to buy later (see also: Juan Cuadrado to Juventus on a multi-year loan/payment plan).

The Morata deal was basically done on credit (buy now pay later), but we should thus be getting €50m for him at the end of the season. That sort of arrangement may not be possible with Alonso, but a loan with an option to buy may allow us to cut our losses just the same.

Having backed ourselves into a corner yet again, if true, this could be a reprieve indeed.