David Luiz is integral to Chelsea, says Mourinho

Following news the Liga giants have lodged a €25 million bid for the versatile Brazilian, the Blues manager has underlined the defender's importance within his squad
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has insisted David Luiz will be an integral part of his plans next season, following news of a bid from Barcelona.

Goal understands the Liga giants have lodged a €25 million offer for the 26-year-old as they continue to look for a long-term replacement for Carles Puyol, after being thwarted in their attempts to sign Thiago Silva from Paris Saint-Germain and Marquinos from Roma, who joined the French champions.

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Mourinho has previously insisted Luiz will not be leaving Stamford Bridge this summer, and he remains excited by the potential the Brazilian boasts after impressing in both midfield and defence last season.

"I have known of David Luiz from the very beginning so I know him very, very well," Mourinho is quoted as saying by The Sun. "Before I came back to Chelsea, I watched him week after week.

"I see him as a centre-back because he has an important quality for a footballer - he can build from the back. He is very comfortable and confident with using the ball from the back - he does not play direct.

"He can improve, especially defensively. He can be much more effective, much more solid. But the potential he has is amazing, incredible."

Liverpool centre-back Daniel Agger is another target for Barcelona, with Danish media suggesting a €20m bid could be in the offing.