The curly-haired fans’ favourite is a top target of the Spanish champions and whilst Jose Mourinho insists the 26-year-old Brazilian is part of his plans at Stamford Bridge, could he be tempted to let his go if one of the following five replacements could be brought in for £35 million or less this summer?
5) Ezequiel Garay
The 26-year-old Argentine, formerly of Real Madrid has been heavily linked with a switch from Benfica to Manchester United but the Blues could likely lure him to Stamford Bridge if they were so inclined. At 6ft4”, he’s strong in the air, his technique is top notch and his intelligence makes him one of the most coveted defenders on the continent.
4) Jan Vertonghen
Over the other side of town at White Hart Lane, Spurs have snapped up one of the finest defenders in Europe in their 26-year-old Belgian enforcer. His work-rate is second to none, his technique, anticipation and composure are of the highest quality and he is captain material in its essence. He’s a born leader, a born winner and, as such, I’m sure he could be tempted for a move to Chelsea.
3) Raphael Varane
Perhaps a younger model would suit Jose Mourinho – especially one that he has built up a strong relationship with during his spell at Real Madrid. The 20-year-old is hailed as the best of his generation both in Spain and back in his native France.
The youngster’s partner at the Bernabeu, Mourinho’s fellow Portuguese Pepe has been linked with interest from Manchester City but a link up with his old boss and compatriot could be enough to bring him to Stamford Bridge ahead of the Etihad. At 30 years of age he’s the epitome of world-class quality and experience.
1) Mats Hummels
The only other conceivable option, better than probably any other defender on the continent at present is Borussia Dortmund’s 24-year-old German giant. He’s everything you could possibly want in a centre-back. Strong, powerful, committed, intelligent, focused, and skilled. There really isn’t any better currently.
Would you be tempted to trade in Luiz for any of these five?
image: © Ben Sutherland