Would Mourinho really sell star defender to Barcelona for £22m?

Barcelona look set to begin another pursuit of Chelsea defender David Luiz, but it seems their valuation is some way off Chelsea's.

The Brazilian international arrived at Stamford Bridge in January 2011 from Benfica, and has made himself a cult hero in West London with his no-holds-barred approach to defending, veering wildly between a dominating defender and free-spirited faux forward, but also incorporating mistakes and daydreaming into his defensive repertoire, causing many British pundits to question his ability to play as a defender at the highest level.

As a result, many believe that he is better suited to playing abroad where he has more license to express himself, and it seems the popular landing spot for him is Barcelona – who have been linked with yet another bid for the 26-year-old centre back.

The Catalan giants are certainly in need of defensive help, as Javier Mascherano continues to fill in at centre back in the absence of long-serving Carles Puyol, whose outstanding career looks set to come to an end as injuries persist for the 35-year-old.

But when one frizzy-haired defender leaves, one may arrive in his place, as Luiz is allegedly on a shortlist created by manager Gerardo Martino and sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta as they prepare for the summer transfer window. However, Barca reportedly only value Luiz at £22m – just £1.5m more than what Chelsea paid just over three years ago.

This would be some way short of the £35m bid they reportedly had rejected for Luiz last year, and Jose Mourinho's personal vendetta against Barcelona could complicate matters even more. There is also the possibility of Luiz's price increasing should he impress for Brazil at next summer's World Cup, which makes it incredibly unlikely that Chelsea would even think about accepting a bid worth £22m for Luiz.

With question marks remaining over the future of John Terry, Luiz is surely seen as an important part of the future for the Blues, and Mourinho was full of praise for the former Vitoria man last summer, saying; "David has come back with us fantastically and we have to use his quality. He has big self-confidence and self-esteem, especially when he comes up from the back with the ball."

As Mourinho is seemingly a fan of Luiz, and with no need to sell the defender, it seems Barcelona would have to do a lot better than a £22m bid if they are serious about landing the Brazilian international.

image: © Ben Sutherland

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