CHELSEA forgotten man Marcos Alonso is reportedly set to join Atletico Madrid in the January transfer window.
The left-back has slipped down the pecking order following the arrival of Ben Chilwell and a loan deal between the two clubs is close to being agreed, according to MARCA.
Diego Simeone is eager to strengthen at full-back after Kieran Trippier was handed a 10-week worldwide ban for breaching the Football Association's betting rules.
Alonso has been restricted to three appearances in all competitions this term after being frozen out by Frank Lampard.
The Spaniard – under contract at Chelsea until 2023 – has not featured since being hauled off at half time in the 3-3 draw at West Brom in September.
A fresh start in the Spanish capital awaits Alonso, who will likely be at home in Simeone's five-at-the-back system, which could free Yannick Carrasco to cover on the opposite flank for Trippier.
England international Trippier has been a mainstay in Simeone's team since his £20million switch from Tottenham in 2019.
The 30-year-old's enforced absence is a major blow for Atletico, who sit top of La Liga with two games in hand on city rivals Real Madrid.
Trippier, who has been linked with a move to Manchester United, is set to miss 11 domestic clashes as Los Colchoneros aim to win their first league title since 2014.
He also faces being absent from the first leg of Atletico's Champions League last-16 tie against Chelsea.
Trippier is currently eligible to return to action for the Madrid derby against Real on March 7.
Simeone's search for cover could result in a second Premier League player heading to the Wanda Metropolitano next month.
Arsenal's versatile ace Ainsley Maitland-Niles has been linked with a loan switch to Atletico.
The 23-year-old has struggled to nail down a spot in Mikel Arteta's first-choice XI so a short spell in sunny Spain could appeal.
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