Barcelona look to cheaper David Luiz alternative

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Barcelona have added Mateo Musacchio to their shortlist of central defenders as they look for cheaper options, reports El Mundo Deportivo.

The current La Liga champions are in growing need of defensive reinforcements after reports that Carles Puyol is considering retirement surfaced earlier this week.

Recent reports had linked Barcelona with a £29m January move for Chelsea star David Luiz, who has struggled to convince new manager Jose Mourinho thus far.

The Brazilian centre-back has only appeared six times in the Premier League so far this season. Luiz, who turned down a move to Barcelona in the summer, is now ready to leave Stamford Bridge as he fears his place in Brazil's World Cup squad is under threat.

But with the €57m transfer fee for Neymar still weighing down the club's finances, as well as a massive deal being brokered for Lionel Messi, Nou Camp officials are looking at cheaper alternatives.

One star outlined as a potential successor to Puyol is Villarreal star Musacchio, who could be available for free next summer.

Musacchio, 23, has yet to agree a new contract with the Yellow Submarine with his current deal out in June.

Martino, who shares a nationality with the Argentine international, reportedly spoke with the player after the two team's recent meeting and has now told Andoni Zubizarreta that he wants him at the Nou Camp.

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