The temporary lifting of Barcelona's transfer ban by FIFA has seen them make Chelsea star David Luiz their number one summer target, but are not willing to match the Blues asking price.
According to Metro, the Catalan club are looking to get business done early in a summer that could see some major rebuilding in the squad and see Luiz as the crucial recruit towards that. The Brazil international has a World Cup to think about in his home country from early June, so Barcelona want to have a deal sorted to take him from Stamford Bridge before the competition starts.
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, according to the report, is willing to listen to offers for the 27-year-old and has been prepared to sell the defender since he arrived in the summer. However, it claims that Luiz is not too keen on leaving the Blues and so could prove difficult to convince to accept the offer.
Barcelona are desperate to sign a defender that can fit into their system and the former Benfica man is seen as the ideal candidate. Replacing club captain Carles Puyol is seen as the top priority after he confirmed he would be leaving the club come the end of the season due to too many injury worries and Luiz is top of that list.
One problem which could occur in a move is, as ever, the price tag Chelsea are ready to attach to him. Some reports have claimed that the Blues hierarchy will demand as much as £40million to part with Luiz, but the Metro report claims Barcelona are only willing to go as high as £25million.
Barcelona were given a 14-month ban on making transfers earlier this year by FIFA after they were found guilty of breaching rules on signing international players under the age of 18. However, the game's governing body today lifted the ban after an appeal was lodged by the Camp Nou club, which will allow them to buy and sell players for the coming transfer window.