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Chelsea FC Transfer Rumours: David Luiz Deal Nearly Done

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I don't have quotes, but information is coming flying in from all over the net, and mostly is in agreement so I'm assuming it's reasonably legitimate. According to reports out of Portugal and London, Chelsea are on the verge of signing Brazilian centre back David Luiz from Benfica for €25M (£21.3M) and the exchange of a youth/reserve player of some kind who has not played for the senior team. According to a tweet from Oliver Kay at the Times, the two clubs are now simply quibbling over the minor details of the transfer,which some be wrapped up at some point tonight or later tomorrow.

Basically, all that's left to do is pick the player that will be going back (full time, not on loan as reported earlier), have Luiz cleared for a medical, and go through a work permit hearing. As an international-level defender for one of the finest teams in the world, the permit hearing should only be a formality, and the player should be ready to join the club within days of the deal being finalised. Luiz, 23, has the ability to walk straight into Carlo Ancelotti's first-choice side, presumably pushing Branislav Ivanovic to right back and playing alongside captain John Terry in the centre of the defence in a 'silk/steel' partnership - no prizes for guessing who's who there!

It sounds like we're coming very near the end of what's been a gripping transfer saga. Chelsea first targetted Luiz during the summer months, and (I'd imagine) regret failing to acquire him before the season started, with the club enduring a major injury crisis with the first-team centre backs. Benfica have already rejected at least three bids for Luiz, whom they valued at over £25M, and Chelsea ultimately had to threaten to walk away (see their 'interest' in Danish international Simon Kjaer) to push the Portuguese side into selling. Luiz represents the most expensive piece of business Chelsea have concluded since the purchase of Andriy Shevchenko in 2006.