Inspirational Barcelona captain Carles Puyol confirmed earlier today that he will call quits on a glorious career at the Camp Nou this summer, which is sure to result in a lorry load of speculation over a replacement at centre-back until the close season.
Barca have been consistently mentioned in connection with a whole host of centre-backs, primarily from the Premier League, including Daniel Agger, Jan Vertonghen , Thomas Vermaelen and Laurent Koscielny, but the most logical answer to their defensive deficiencies lies in West London.
Chelsea and Brazil star David Luiz actually rejected the opportunity to join Barca last summer, but with Puyol gone a renewed effort from the Catalan giants would surely see the Selecao stopper switch to La Liga for next season.
Luiz has failed to convince Blues boss Jose Mourinho that he can be trusted in central defence, with John Terry and Gary Cahill building a strong understanding that has proved a cornerstone of their title challenge this season.
The 26-year-old has been managed to fleetingly impress in central midfield but must to some extend be frustrated not to be guaranteed a starting spot, particularly in World Cup year.
Mourinho has sent a pretty clear message to Luiz with the arrival of midfield enforcer Nemanja Matic in January, step up or be forced accept consistent time on the subs bench.
Chelsea shuffled their pack while staying in budget in the January transfer window, with a revolving door at Stamford Bridge seeing Kevin de Bruyne and Juan Mata leave while Matic, Mohamed Salah and Kurt Zouma were all recruited.
This summer Mourinho is expected to fork out for a leading central striker in the mould of Diego Costa or Edinson Cavani, a purchase which would be eminently more plausible if Luiz was moved on for a sizeable fee.
Brazil will without question hand Luiz a pivotal role in the South American showpiece, which could ramp up the price tag of a ball-playing defender very much in the Barca mould if Luiz Felipe Scolari's side get it right.
Barca will surely finally be forced to abandon a concerted tactic of using defensive midfielders alongside Gerard Pique at the back, although Javier Mascherano must be commended for filling in capably over the last two seasons.
La Liga's defending champions have not been afraid of splashing the case for a long-term target in recent seasons, as demonstrated by the purchases of Cesc Fabregas and Neymar, which means Chelsea should definitely do business if they receive an offer approaching the £30m mark this summer.
Chelsea would get to spend that lump sum elsewhere, while Barca get a defender more than comfortable in possession and capable of building play from the back with aplomb, so this mooted deal is a win/win surely?
Barcelona and Blues fans, do you agree that Luiz going to La Liga makes sense for both parties? Have your say in the comment box below!
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