Star central defender David Luiz has reportedly asked to leave Chelsea this summer and has requested that the team allow him to transfer to reigning La Liga champion Barcelona.
Jack De Menezes of The Independent cites a report in Spain's Mundo Deportivo as the source for this unfortunate development for the Blues. The club has to be discouraged that one of its star defenders is asking out of Stamford Bridge.
If Chelsea are meant to legitimately contend for the English Premier League trophy and in the UEFA Champions League in 2013-14, Luiz has to be a key piece of the championship puzzle.
The 26-year-old Brazilian international is an especially coveted commodity for Barca, because a strong back line doesn’t adequately supplement the team’s prolific attack. Luiz would go a long way in fortifying that unit.
An offer of €25 million was extended to Chelsea, and the club demanded that Barcelona double the offer, according to Duncan Castles of The Sunday Times and Sports Illustrated:
As Castles mentions in the linked Sulia post, the €50 million transfer fee would exceed the record for a defender, bettering the €42 million chunk of change it took for Thiago Silva to be moved to Paris Saint-Germain during last year's summer window.
Losing out on a marquee defender for the second consecutive time in the transfer market would be unfortunate for a Catalan team needing help on defense. Gerardo Martino is the club's new manager, and according to De Menezes, he worries for the health of captain Carles Puyol.
A combination of suspensions and injuries also caused central defender Gerard Pique and defensive midfielder Javier Mascherano to miss portions of the prior season.
Thankfully, Barca was so far ahead in La Liga's standings that it didn't threaten their lead on the trophy, but it's an area of concern nevertheless.
Martino would do well to bring in a big name after missing out on Silva the last time around. Although Luiz draws some criticism for his aggressiveness, tendency to foul and perceptibly unnecessary risks at times, he is an unquestionable asset for Chelsea.
With captain John Terry and veteran stud Ashley Cole both aging on Chelsea's defense—and considering Cole is only under a one-year contract—the Blues can't afford to give up Luiz.
And that's even if Barcelona decides to pay up the type of ridiculous money being demanded.
Petr Cech still remains as the No. 1 goalkeeper, which gives Luiz free rein to be the player he's capable of being—and still becoming. Luiz is still at a point in his career where he can further blossom, and that's at least partially why Chelsea is demanding that Barca double the offer for him.
Returning manager Jose Mourinho is reputedly hard-nosed and demanding. That is again surfacing in his transfer negotiation tactics regarding Luiz.
The defender still has his prime ahead of him and will have at least another season with Terry and Cole to steer him in the proper direction. That is invaluable to his development, and not to mention, by standing in Stamford Bridge, he'll be in the starting XI of an international contender with a core defense already solidified.
Should Chelsea lose Luiz and not only his defensive abilities but also his valuable presence in set pieces, it will be irreplaceable and detrimental for the impending season.
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