According to latest reports, Barcelona are preparing a summer move for Chelsea defender David Luiz to replace the hole created by club legend Carles Puyol’s imminent departure from the Camp Nou in the summer.
Barcelona hope to conclude a deal swiftly before the World Cup finals kick off in June, with a bid of €30 million (£24.7 million) expected for Luiz, who is an important figure in Luiz Felipe Scolari’s Brazil squad.
Last summer, Barcelona had a formal bid for Luiz rejected by Chelsea, with manager Jose Mourinho adamant that the defender was not for sale. However, a lot has changed since then, and Mourinho has seemingly prepared for life without the 26 year old.
Mourinho has signed French central defender Kurt Zouma from Saint-Etienne for £12.5m and holding midfielder Nemanja Matic from Benfica for £21m in January, and he he may consider selling Luiz even though Luiz is not agitating for a move.
Chelsea rejected Barcelona’s advances last summer, insisting that they wanted more than £50m for Luiz in order to kill any effort to negotiate, while Barcelona are understood to have offered only just over £20m.
While Barcelona are planning an increased bid, it may still not be enough to tempt Chelsea, given the fact that Mourinho has continued to publicly insist that Luiz, who is regarded as a big personality as well as a good player and is a strong character in the dressing room, is integral to his plans.
Another player being linked with Barcelona as a possible replacement is Liverpool center-back Daniel Agger. Barcelona are supposedly considering a swap deal that could see young winger Cristian Tello move to Anfield as part of the deal.
Agger, who has struggled with fitness and form this season at Anfield, is expected to leave the club in the summer. Barcelona showed interest in the Danish defender last summer but decided to sign former Arsenal midfielder Alex Song instead.
Barca will now approach the Reds and enquire about the availability of the 29-year-old’s and are keen to add speedy winger Cristian Tello to any move they make. The Spaniard, who recently signed a new contract to keep him at the club until 2018, has struggled for playing time after falling behind in the pecking oreder to the likes of Neymar, Pedro Rodriguez and the free scoring Alexis Sanchez.
All this is following Barcelona captain Carles Puyol’s confirmation that he would be leaving Barcelona at the end of the season. The 35-year-old Spain international had a contract with Barça until 2016 but has reached an agreement with the club to rescind the final two years of the deal.