Barcelona sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta is not convinced Chelsea star David Luiz is the right defender to replace Carles Puyol at the Camp Nou next season - putting the Brazil international’s transfer to the Catalan giants in serious doubt.
It was reported this week that Luiz had virtually sealed a dream move to Barcelona, but Mundo Deportivo insist this isn’t the case. They claim that Luiz does not meet the “technical” or “economical” profile for the centre-back Barcelona are looking for, while Zubizarreta also advised the club against purchasing the 27-year-old last summer.
Barcelona reportedly tabled a £35m bid for Luiz ahead of the 2013/14 campaign, but the South American was denied a transfer by Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho, who is now reportedly keen to sell following the acquisitions of Kurt Zouma and Nemanja Matic, plus the good form of veteran John Terry and the impressive breakthrough of 20-year-old Tomas Kalas.
Barcelona head coach Gerardo Martino, who is expected to be replaced by Luis Enrique in the coming weeks, was also reluctant to give the green light to sign Luiz last summer following the failed bid to sign Thiago Silva.
Luiz’s ability to play in central defence or as a holding midfielder make him an attractive proposition for any prospective buyer. However, it’s no secret that the Brazilian has suffered from concentration issues in the past, while his failure to hold down a first-team place either as a centre-back or as a defensive midfielder will also have concerned Barcelona.
Puyol will prove virtually impossible to replace, but Barcelona are keen to sign a defender with similar attributes: talismanic, strong in the tackle - a leader.
This could mean, however, that PSG step up their pursuit of Luiz. The French champions are reportedly keen on the Brazilian, as well as several of his teammates.