Barcelona ready to tempt Luiz into leaving Chelsea

£30m-rated Brazilian defender interests Spanish giants while Blues' fifth bid for Wigan's Victor Moses is finally accepted

Barcelona are prepared to test Chelsea's resolve to hang on to their Brazilian defender David Luiz, who is attracting interest from the Spanish club one week before the end of the transfer window.

Luiz, 25, is valued at around £30m by the club, who say in private that they have no immediate plans to sell a player they bought in January of last year. Luiz is injured and missed the Premier League win over Reading on Wednesday night, having first announced he would not be playing on Twitter on the morning of the game.

Yesterday afternoon, he tweeted a photograph of himself on a private plane declaring that he was preparing to fly to Barcelona. He later said he was returning to London. The club maintained he was attending a Nike event in the city and had permission to do so from their manager, Roberto Di Matteo, despite being injured.

Chelsea agreed a fee with Wigan Athletic yesterday for the Nigerian striker Victor Moses, 21, understood to be in the region of £9m, the club's fourth major signing of the transfer window. Wigan announced the agreement followed "four unsuccessful bids" by the European champions and that Moses had permission to negotiate personal terms with Chelsea.

The acquisition of Moses is in keeping with the London club's policy of acquiring what they consider to be the best young talent, including the likes of Eden Hazard, Oscar and Romelu Lukaku, currently on loan at West Bromwich Albion. Although they have tended to pay high fees, the interest Luiz is attracting demonstrates Chelsea buy players who increase in value.

Luiz has divided opinion at the club since he joined from Benfica for a deal worth around £25m. An unorthodox defender who has been prone to make the occasional mistake, he remains popular with the supporters. There is understood to be strong interest, however, in Luiz from Barcelona and there are elements at the club who would regard a profit on the player, who is not a guaranteed starter, as good business.

Barcelona, who played Real Madrid at home in the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup last night, have already signed Alexander Song as an option to play at centre-back. With Javier Mascherano also co-opted into the position from midfield, it is one area in which their options are limited.

Selling Luiz would not necessarily leave Chelsea short on central-halves, with Branislav Ivanovic having told Di Matteo over the summer that he wants to be considered as a centre-back and not a right-back, where he found himself playing for much of last season.

Should Luiz leave the club in the next seven days then it would be more likely Chelsea would seek a right-back to fill the gap left by him rather than sign a centre-back. The Marseilles full-back Cesar Azpilicueta is one candidate regarded as a suitable option. Manchester City have played down suggestions they could be interested in Luiz.

In Luiz's absence on Wednesday night, the England international Gary Cahill scored Chelsea's second goal in a 4-2 win over Reading in a performance that, while promising in attacking terms, did pose questions about the team's defensive discipline.

Cahill said that he took responsibility for not having got sufficiently close to Pavel for Reading's first goal but argued that Chelsea were playing a different, more attacking breed of football. "I certainly wouldn't say we were boring, there was some exciting stuff," he said. "I thought [Eden] Hazard was phenomenal and we looked dangerous. It's exciting to see them boys playing their stuff.

"Yes, maybe because we have got attack-minded players that want to show their flair and ability. Maybe defensively we might be a little bit more exposed. That is something we at the back have got to try to deal with. I don't think you want to stop the way they play because I thought they were fantastic."

David Luiz in numbers

53 Chelsea games for the Brazilian since 2011 move.

12 Brazil caps won by Luiz, since his debut in August 2010 against the US.

£21m Amount Chelsea paid Benfica for the centre-back 19 months ago.

5 Goals scored for Chelsea – most recent versus Bolton last February.

Sport
Alexis Sanchez has completed a £35m move to Arsenal, the club have confirmed
sportGunners complete £35m signing of Barcelona forward
Life and Style
A binge is classed as four or more alcoholic drinks for women and five or more for men, consumed over a roughly two-hour period
tech
News
Detail of the dress made entirely of loom bands
news
Life and Style
More than half of young adults have engaged in 'unwanted but consensual sexting with a committed partner,' according to research
techResearchers recover 100s of nude photos from second-hand smartphones
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Ray Whelan was arrested earlier this week
Arts and Entertainment
In a minor key: Keira Knightley in the lightweight 'Begin Again'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Celebrated children’s author Allan Ahlberg, best known for Each Peach Pear Plum
books
News
peopleIndian actress known as the 'Grand Old Lady of Bollywood' was 102
News
Wayne’s estate faces a claim for alleged copyright breaches
peopleJohn Wayne's heirs duke it out with university over use of the late film star's nickname
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice