Chelsea's Luiz looks more likely to remain at the club

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FC Barcelona are said to have identified Colombian defender Eder Alvarez Balanta as a target, and as a result could cool their supposed interest in Chelsea’s David Luiz.

Colombian international defender Balanta has been linked with Barcelona.

According to Italian paper tuttomercatoBarcelona have tracked the Colombian and aim to bring him to Spain either during the January transfer window, or after the World Cup in Brazil.

Balanta, 20, currently plays for Argentine giants River Plate, and over the first part of the season was an integral part in one of the joint meanest defence's in the Argentine league, which conceded just 14 goals in 19 games.

The Colombian has been a star in the Argentine league, with solid defensive displays, and has been dubbed the best defender in Argentina - just six months into his debut season. Balanta is now believed to have a release clause of €15m in his current contract.

River Plate Vice President Omar Solassi spoke of the interest in his player: 'Balanta is worth €15m; he is a great player with a great future. I think that Balanta would be liked by Tata Martino, as it would not seem odd to me if Barca are interested in him'.

One team that are likely to breathe a sigh of relief over Barcelona’s new target is Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea. Chelsea defender David Luiz was the cause of much speculation over the summer regarding a move to the Nou Camp, and the rumours have recently resurfaced.

With Luiz thought to be keen to remain in London, however, and Barcelona looking to have cooled their interest, Chelsea fans will be pleased that the much-liked Brazilian looks likely to stay.

image: © Jason Bagley

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