Chelsea star David Luiz has been singled out by Barcelona manager Tito Vilanova as the Catalan club’s number one transfer target next summer.
According to Portuguese publication A Bola, Barcelona director of football Andoni Zubizarreta travelled to New York to meet Vialnova, who is there to undergo radiotherapy in his on-going cancer treatment.
The report claims the Camp Nou boss made adding to his central defence area a priority and put Chelsea’s Luiz at the top of the list.
The Stamford Bridge club would be loath to see one of their most promising players snatched away by the Primera Division leaders.
Barcelona targeting Luiz appears a logical decision due to the need for their centre-backs to be comfortable on the ball.
The Brazil international has been deployed in defensive midfield by interim Chelsea manager Rafa Benitez this season and he has appeared entirely comfortable playing the role.
Barcelona currently have effectively turned former Liverpool midfielder Javier Mascherano into a defender and he is often deployed next to Gerard Pique in the middle of defence.
Club captain Carles Puyol has just signed an extension to his contract at Camp Nou, though he is now 34 and Luiz could have been identified as his long-term successor.