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Chelsea in enquiry for Vitorino Antunes

Football Transfer Centre

Portuguese international left back Vitorino Antunes has emerged as a surprise target for Chelsea. The player, who recently joined cash strapped Spanish side Malaga, has been tipped as an eventual replacement for Ashley Cole.

Chelsea's fans will fondly remember that during Jose Mourinho's first reign at the Blues, he brought in the likes of fellow countrymen Paulo Ferreira and Ricardo Carvalho. As Mourinho begins his second spell in charge at Stamford Bridge, he could well be about to sign another Portuguese batch of players.

Antunes joined Malaga from Portuguese club Pacos Ferreira in January as a replacement for Nacho Monreal, the left back who joined Arsenal in the same month. He impressed during his loan spell there sufficiently to secure a permanent deal to the Spanish side.

Despite his recently agreed transfer to Malaga, he could yet be on the way again. Chelsea manager Mourinho was sufficiently impressed with Antunes' performances during that loan spell in Spain to earmark the full back as an eventual replacement for England international Ashley Cole

Antunes would be available for a fee of around 4.5 million Euros, and would be initially signed as cover for Cole.