David Luiz is an experienced, talented player with a proven international pedigree, but that has not been enough to persuade Jose Mourinho he should start, leaving Chelsea fans asking where has the Brazilian gone?

Luiz was a star performer back last season under Rafa Benitez, however has fallen down the pecking order at Chelsea under the tenure of Jose Mourinho. John Terry's return to prominence is a factor, but that does not excuse his consistent omission this season.

Luiz is keen to start playing regularly, and actually needs to if he is realistically going to board the plane to Brazil and be part of their World Cup squad next summer.

But his keenness so far hasn't paid has not been enough to play more than five times in the Premier League, with Barcelona rumoured to be ready to give Luiz an escape route from Stamford Bridge.

It seems Luiz will have to settle for a bit-part role in the squad until at least the end of this season though, with the wise Mourinho unwilling to part with the 26-year-old halfway through a Premier League campaign.

Mourinho wants to keep his current squad intact for a Premier League title push, and with their lack of defensive backup if JT picked up an injury then Luiz would be pivotal.

The Blues are currently trying to chase down Arsenal at the summit of the Premier League and finally get their hands back on the Premier League crown.

Mourinho is thought to be willing to sanction Luiz's exit in June, as he would be more confident of sealing the signature of a worthy replacement.

But it may be too late for Luiz by then, with a summer move coming long after Luiz Felipe Scolari's selection of a 23-man Selecao squad.

Chelsea have put a hefty £50m asking price on the Brazilian, which proves he must still have some standing at the club. It still apparently has not put Barcelona off of a move in the summer.

The Catalans are continuing to look for a replacement to the ageing Carles Puyol and may see Luiz as an extremely viable option.

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