Barcelona’s interest in Chelsea defender David Luiz stretches back to last summer, when the Catalan club were reportedly close to signing the Brazilian star. Although the deal to bring the Chelsea star to the Nou Camp never materialised, Barcelona’s interest in the defender has remained strong throughout this season.
With Barcelona likely to radically restructure their playing squad at the end of the season - there has been speculation that up to 13 squad players will leave - the Spanish club may be even more determined to land their man this time around.
According to the Brazil's Lancenet, representatives of the company who look after David Luiz’s sporting interests have confirmed that Barcelona and Chelsea have begun negotiations over a deal, which is likely to be sealed after this summer’s World Cup.
From a Barcelona perspective, of course, a deal to land Luiz would be a much-needed transfer. Club captain Carles Puyol is retiring at the end of the season, and there are question marks over the future of former Liverpool star Javier Mascherano, who hasn't enjoyed the best of seasons.
Chelsea, on the other hand, may be willing to sell if the price is right given the strength in depth of their squad - the Blues have an abundance of centre-backs, with Gary Cahill, John Terry, Branislav Ivanovic, January transfer window signing Kurt Zouma and youngster Tomas Kalas all capable of filling the Luiz role.
And in midfield – where Luiz can also play – Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho can count on Nemanja Matic, Ramires, Jon Obi Mikel, Frank Lampard and Marco Van Ginkel.
With cover a-plenty, Chelsea's boss may want to take the opportunity to cash in on Luiz, who has only started 15 Premier League games this season, in order to provide funds to improve weaker areas of his squad.