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(UK time) 13:26:17

European Football

23 March 2012

Barcelona declare interest in flamboyant Chelsea defender

Erratic Brazilian David Luiz is at the head of Pep Guardiola's Nou Camp wishlist

Barcelona declare interest in flamboyant Chelsea defender

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David Luiz has played a major part in Chelsea’s recent resurgence under Robert Di Matteo, but the Londoners could face a battle to keep hold of the defender in the summer, with Barcelona taking an interest in acquiring his services.

Pep Guardiola is searching for a long-term successor to captain Carles Puyol, who is fast approaching his 34th birthday, and whilst Luiz hardly epitomises composure in the same way that Puyol does, he certainly has the potential to become one of the world’s best defenders.

Barca initially expressed an interest in Luiz during his time at Benfica, where a string of impressive performances saw him land the Portuguese League Player of the Year award in 2010, as a prelude to his £21million switch to Stamford Bridge.

He has only been at Chelsea for little over a year, but it looks as though Champions League holders Barcelona are now ready to test the Blues’ resolve with a £35million bid.

Whilst often attracting criticism for his erratic playing style, which features raids forward from his central defensive position, Guardiola sees Luiz as having the exact credentials required for a Barcelona centre-half, with his comfort on the ball unquestionable.

Indeed, it is difficult to argue that the 24-year-old’s playing style would not be more suited to a competition such as La Liga, and his gung-ho approach would seem to suit the aesthetically pleasing Barca too.

However, Chelsea are likely to fight hard to keep hold of the Brazilian international, whose best form for the club has arguably emerged within the past few weeks.

A firm fans’ favourite at Stamford Bridge, Luiz is also believed to be one of the more popular members of the Chelsea squad with other players, and with so much made of their supposed troublesome dressing room, the Blues are likely to resist Barcelona’s advances if at all possible.

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