Atletico Madrid had talks with Chelsea midfielder Kevin De Bruyne on Wednesday, according to a report in AS.

Los Rojiblancos were linked with a move for the Belgian international last week and negotiations are understood to be at an advanced stage, although Atleti still believe there is a lot of work to do as the player is not convinced he will cement a regular place in Diego Simeone’s starting line-up.

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has given De Bruyne the green light to seek a move away from Stamford Bridge because he does not see him as part of his immediate plans, while Atleti would like him to bolster their team for what they consider will be a demanding second half of the season.

Despite not being available to play in the Champions League, having already represented Chelsea, the 22-year-old is seen as decent back-up for a squad that hopes to still be involved in the race for both the La Liga title and Copa del Rey come next May.

Atleti defender Toby Alderweireld has already told Belgian media that De Bruyne’s arrival would be good for both club and player.

“It would be fantastic if he came in during the January transfer window. He really knows how to play in midfield and has talent,” said his Belgium international teammate.

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