Chelsea see a major obstacle removed in their pursuit of David Luiz

Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Earlier this month Chelsea had both a straight money offer and a cash plus Paulo Ferriera offer for David Luiz denied by Benfica.  Part of the concern for Benfica was replacing Luiz while they were in the midst of a title race.  Benfica currently sits comfortably in the Champions League places, but trails leaders Porto by 8 points.  Today, Benfica potentially filled the hole that would be created by losing Luiz by finalizing the signing of fellow Brazilian Jardel Viera to a five and a half year contract.  Viera is a 24 year old centerback who, like Luiz, plays a very physical brand of defense.  The signing will likely make the loss of Luiz a little easier blow to absorb for Benfica, and eliminate the need for them to seek any replacement players in return.

Several sources (MirrorGuardian) have reported that Chelsea are going to be making a third offer for the player, this one of the straight cash variety.  Given their newfound depth at the center of the defense, it appears Benfica may be leaning towards accepting an offer from Chelsea if they meet the clubs valuation, which is currently rumored to be about 23-25 million pounds.  If this scenario sounds familiar, it's likely because we went through it this past summer with Ramires.  Benfica seemed to waffle over whether of not to sell the young Brazilian to Chelsea until they signed his replacement Nicolos Gaitan from Boca Juniors.  With Alex's knee reportedly being infected worse than originally thought, watch for talks about Luiz to heat up in the next several days.

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