The Stamford Bridge boss has stated that David Luiz is not for sale at any price, despite rumblings that Barcelona want to sign the Brazil international.
With Barcelona eager to sign a new central defender as a long-term replacement for the ageing Carles Puyol, Luiz has been one of the names suggested with a switch to Camp Nou.
However, Mourinho has made it clear that Luiz is firmly in his plans for the upcoming season, and that the player will not be making the move to the Catalan giants or anyone else.
“No chance he is going to leave. He is a player we want to keep. He is a player with four years (on his) contract, he just signed a contract last year,” Mourinho told BT Sport.
“We like him. He is an important player and the club is not ready to sell him for any price.”
Reports in the press suggest that Luiz was keen on a move to the Spanish champions, and made comments as such in the media.
Mourinho is unaware of any such desire on Luiz’s part.
“I don’t know if he said that. What I can say is that he is not going to.
“The last quotes I read were Luiz saying he is not speaking about clubs when he is with the national team, which is a fantastic quote that I appreciate. That is the last quote I have and it is an intelligent one.”
With the season only days away, Chelsea will not be letting Luiz leave the club. As it is, there is an argument that the Blues could even have brought in an extra defender – what with Branislav Ivanovic often being used as a full-back and Luiz playing in midfield on occasion.
It will be interesting to see where Mourinho chooses to play Luiz this season. There is no clear favourite player to start the campaign as the first-choice defensive midfielder, with doubts over Jon Obi Mikel and Michael Essien’s fitness yet to be proven.
Mourinho used centre-half Pepe as a midfield enforcer at Real Madrid in certain games, and there is a case to suggest that Luiz could be in a similar situation at Chelsea. Luiz’s range of passing and his ability on the ball will mean that he will add to the distribution of Blues possession, while the South American’s work-rate and tendency to put a foot in will see him as a more-rounded option than Mikel.
Luiz’s versatility will be a key asset for Chelsea in the defensive half of their team this season, and it comes as no surprise that Mourinho has clarified his importance to the club.
image: © Ben Sutherland