Barcelona’s interest in signing Chelsea’s Brazilian centre-back David Luiz was made public in the summer, though the Spanish champions were deterred by the English club’s hefty valuation in the end.
However, the Catalan’s need for defensive reinforcements is even greater now than it was then, as Carlos Puyol’s 35-year-old legs are no longer deemed a first-choice option and Gerard Pique, has picked up niggling knocks this season.
If Gerardo Martino is to keep his 1/2 favourites for La Liga trailblazing on all fronts then the feeling is the Argentine needs to acquire another big presence in the centre of his defence – and Luiz certainly fits that bill.
The first two defeats of Tata’s reign which have just arrived in quick succession have only served to reinforce this standpoint and reports in Spain suggest Barcelona will now test Chelsea’s resolve with a mighty £29m bid in January.
Brought to the club under Carlo Ancelotti, the visibly talented Luiz has often proved a divisive figure at Stamford Bridge, where his desires to carry the ball forward have often been thought to jeopardise his defensive assuredness.
For this reason, interim boss Rafael Benitez had been inclined to play Luiz in a deep lying midfield role on many occasions.
But since the return of Jose Mourinho, the former Benfica player has become a marginalised figure in the first team, as the Portuguese has placed his faith in old favourite John Terry, to play alongside countryman Gary Cahill in the heart of the Blues’ backline.
This only adds support to the suspicions that Mourinho may be willing to cash in on the flamboyant defender.
Being Brazilian and therefore gifted with the ball, Luiz’ profile is that bit more attractive to the Spanish side’s ball-playing ethos, while he’s proven at Chelsea that he’s an adept auxiliary defensive midfielder as well.
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