David Luiz is set to become the most expensive defender of all time. Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea have struck a deal which will see the Brazil international move to the French giants this summer for a (reported) £40 million (€50m) transfer fee.
PSG are no strangers to splashing the cash when it comes to making big-name signings. After all, the Ligue 1 champions have recruited the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Thiago Silva, Edinson Cavani, Ezequiel Lavezzi and Marco Verratti in the past few years.
However, their latest acquisition has raised some eyebrows. While Luiz is a Champions League and Europa League winner and is also part of Brazil’s 2014 World Cup squad, he is someone who is not considered as one of the world’s best. True, the 27-year-old is versatile enough to play in central defence and in central midfield, but it can be said for sure that he is not the world’s best in either position.
Yet, PSG willing to pay as much as £40m – more than what they paid AC Milan for the world’s best centre-back Silva in the summer of 2012 – demonstrates just how much they want and need him in their squad.
But do they? French legend Bixente Lizarazu - a Champions League, World Cup and European Championship winner - believes that Laurent Blanc’s side were strong even without Luiz, and raises doubts on the future of Marquinhos, the 20-year-old centre-back they signed from Roma just last summer.
‘The price for David Luiz seems huge’, Lizarazu told Telefoot. ‘Prices for other very good players make more sense. What amazes me is that Alex had a very good season, and the (next) season will be complicated for Marquinhos. He was perhaps not a defender that PSG needed’.
It is hard not to agree with Lizarazu. Although Luiz is a very good player despite his howlers he made during his time at Chelsea, £40m is a bit too much for him. Moreover, his arrival raises doubts on the future of some other PSG players.
While Alex is likely to sign an extension to his contract that runs out next month, Marquinhos could be looking for a new club. After all, the Brazilian youngster will be facing competition from Silva, Alex and Luiz for a place in the starting lineup.
Barcelona are said to be interested in Marquinhos, who himself has admitted that he is flattered to be on the radar of the Spanish giants. Last summer Manchester United were eyeing him, and maybe this is the chance for them to swoop in and recruit one of the world’s most promising centre-backs.