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Are Barcelona Prepared To Pay £35M For Blues Defender?

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 25:  David Luiz of Chelsea celebrates scoring during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Bolton Wanderers at Stamford Bridge on February 25, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 25: David Luiz of Chelsea celebrates scoring during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Bolton Wanderers at Stamford Bridge on February 25, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
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Now that David Luiz is on a good run of form, the media has gone from attack mode to praise - and what better way to praise a player than to link them with Barcelona? If you believe the Daily Mail, the defending European champions are prepared to lodge a bid of £35M for the Brazilian centre back this summer, apparently considering him an ideal long-term replacement for the increasingly injured Carles Puyol.

This rumour has been widely ridiculed - the general perception of David Luiz is that he's amusingly incompetent - and the natural reaction is to assume that the Mail has come up with this link because of the similarities between the two players' haircuts, but there's probably actually something to it. Barcelona have been linked with the centre back since before Chelsea picked him up from Benfica, and quotes attributed to the player himself from earlier this month have confirmed that there's been at least some contact:

I'd be lying if I say that I know nothing [about interest from Barcelona]. But I can say that I did not have any negotiations and nobody has made a concrete offer. I am 100% Chelsea player.

David Luiz has plenty of rough edges, but his raw ability is astonishing and his passing style actually is a superb fit for Barcelona, so I'd be surprised if there isn't at least some interest there. That said, I'd be highly skeptical that a bid anywhere near the reported amount will be lodged this summer. It's simply too much money for a player who's still very inconsistent, and I'm not seeing a price point that would make sense for both teams. Barca have apparently been scared off of Thiago Silva by AC Milan's £35M asking price, so the idea of them being willing to drop that amount of money on David Luiz is kind of nonsensical.

So, in other words, I wouldn't be too worried about David Luiz going anywhere. That's good news, as far as I'm concerned - as soon as he grows up and starts cutting out the basic mental errors (a process which has already begun), his physical gifts and ability to read the game mean he's got a very good shout of being one of the best defenders on the planet.

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