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Chelsea fans’ favourite to be £25m target for Barcelona



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Chelsea's David Luiz celebrates his goal against Aston Villa

The news emanating from Barcelona that iconic centre back and inspirational leader Carles Puyol is set to leave the club at the end of the season is likely to produce a renewed attempt by the Catalan club to prise Brazilian star David Luiz from Chelsea.

It was widely reported in the summer that the Blaugrana made a bid for the player, but the Blues quickly knocked it back, with the newly returning Jose Mourinho not yet having fully assessed his new squad. With Puyol announcing his decision to leave however, the need for a replacement has been greatly heightened, and Barcelona are said to ready to return with an increased bid for Luiz.

Luiz has been a fairly peripheral figure at Stamford Bridge of late, with a string of injuries keeping him out of Mourinho’s mind. It does seem that Blues manager views the Terry/Cahill axis as his first choice pairing in the most important games, and while many fans enjoy the flamboyance of the Brazilian, as a ‘foto-fit’ of what Mourinho looks for in a defender, it hardly fits the bill, and the Portuguese seems very much inclined to lean towards Cahill rather than the maverick Luiz.

Despite early season claims to the contrary, Mourinho seems more likely to play the Brazilian in the holding midfield role. In a game where he was paired with new signing Nemnja Matic against Manchester City in the match at the Etihad a few weeks ago, he put in a stellar performance against the much-vaunted City engine room.

If Barcelona are determined to get their man – and rumour has it that Luiz would not be adverse to such a move – Barcelona will probably need to up their bid considerably from what was reported to be just over £20m in the summer.

The player cost Chelsea in excess of that, plus the supposed makeweight of Matic, now bought back for a substantial fee, and Chelsea would probably instantly disregard anything below the £25m mark, and may even hold out for more.

With Chelsea’s plans for next year involving January signing Kurt Zouma and a determined pursuit of Southampton’s Luke Shaw; a realignment of the defensive unit may be in order. If the club then also decide to offer John Terry a further one year contract extension, Luiz may well become available.

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