By Wayne Veysey
Barcelona have stepped up their defender search by preparing a €29 million move for Chelsea's David Luiz, Goal understands.
|THE VIEW FROM SPAIN
|Luiz Herrera | Goal Spain
Barcelona’s plan A didn’t work due to PSG’s refusal to negotiate for Thiago Silva, so the Catalan side could now turn their attention to David Luiz, who has been considered the plan B since the start of the transfer window. The signing would provide depth to Barca’s weakest line in the past season and, considering Carles Puyol’s age and how injury prone he has become in the past two years, the Brazilian International could very well challenge him for the starting spot from day one.
It is believed that Barca have enquired about Luiz’s availability and have been given encouragement that Chelsea could be willing to sell the 26-year-old.
The Spanish champions, who have been rebuffed in their attempts to sign the Brazil international in the past, are putting together a lucrative package to entice the Brazilian to Camp Nou and informal discussions have already started with his representatives.
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is unconvinced about Luiz’s defensive abilities and is ready to cash in on the defender and sign a new centre-half, with Doria, an 18-year-old Brazilian who plays for Botafogo, among those on his target list.
Barca want to reinforce their back four by signing a left-sided centre-back to provide competition to Carles Puyol, 35, after releasing Eric Abidal.
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Barca have now turned their attention to landing Luiz, who has developed into a fans’ favourite at Stamford Bridge since moving from Benfica in January 2011.
The player was a regular first choice under Rafael Benitez last season and was frequently picked ahead of club captain John Terry.
However, new boss Mourinho has misgivings about Luiz’s defensive aptitude and wants to use the money from selling him to buy a replacement.