Chelsea are about to agree a £50m deal with David Luiz to Paris Saint-Germain with the player surplus to requirements for Jose Mourinho, who is remodelling his squad according to the restrictions of home-grown quotas and Uefa financial fair play restrictions.
The Chelsea manager has placed his trust in the teenager French defender Kurt Zouma who was signed from St Etienne for £12.5m in January and will come into the first team squad after the World Cup finals. It is Zouma, 19, left on loan in France for the remainder of last season, who is regarded as the long-term replacement for Luiz in the Chelsea squad.
The limitations imposed by financial fair play mean that the £50m that Chelsea anticipate they could earn from the Luiz deal would prove extremely useful in staying inside Uefa regulations. They managed to demonstrate to the governing body that they stayed within the permitted losses for the previous accounting period but after their January spending on Nemanja Matic, Mohamed Salah and Zouma, they will have to be careful again this summer.
The sale of Luiz will make him the most expensive defender in the history of football. It will also ask serious questions of how Paris Saint-Germain hope to comply with FFP having already been sanctioned by Uefa for failing to do so in the first monitoring period. They will have to sell players to make room on their wage bill.
Chelsea: Potential summer transfer targets
Chelsea: Potential summer transfer targets
1/9 Paul Pogba
Former Manchester United midfielder was spotted in west London setting the rumour mill into overdrive. The classy French midfielder, still just 21, impressed at the World Cup and has been linked with a blockbuster £60m move to Stamford Bridge, despite the recent arrival of Cesc Fabregas. However, he is also linked with a move to Manchester City as a potential replacement for Yaya Toure.
2/9 Adrien Rabiot
The talented teen put clubs in Europe on alert after rejecting a contract offer from Paris Saint-Germain. Chelsea made a move for the Frenchman in January and have gone back in for him, even though he is highly rated by PSG coach Laurent Blanc.
3/9 Sami Khedira
The German midfielder missed five months for Real Madrid's season with a knee injury and has played just 15 games this term. With Madrid reportedly interested in signing new players in central midfield, Khedira's future at the Bernabeu could be at an end. The 27-year-old is interesting Arsenal, but should Chelsea go in for him too, they would be getting a player that Mourinho knows well and real quality in front of the back four, not dissimilar to club legend Claude Makelele.
4/9 Yaya Toure
An outside bet, of course, but with all the drama surrounding the Toure and Manchester City recently, Chelsea could swoop. A powerhouse of a midfielder with a surprisingly deft touch and devastating skill at the dead ball, the 31-year-old would be huge assent to any team in the world. Toure cost City £24million in 2010, so any offer would have to huge from Chelsea if they are to persuade the Sky Blues to sell to a title rival.
Tottenham's summer signing hasn't quite lived up to the form he reached in Brazil's Confederations Cup victory in 2013 and struggled at the World Cup, but he has still performed well enough to have Chelsea and Real Madrid reportedly interested in acquiring his services. The 25-year-old would fit in well at Stamford Bridge given the Blues' strong Brazilian contingent already. Paulinho had a mixed first season in the Premier League, scored six goals with three assists last season and not the return Spurs were hoping for, and the lure of Champions League football could persuade the midfielder to switch London clubs.
6/9 Fabio Coentrao
With Ashley Cole having joined Roma and Ryan Bertrand also likely to leave, Jose Mourinho will be in need of a quality, experienced left-back and one possibility is Real Madrid's Coentrao. The 26-year-old came close to joining Manchester United in January and is likely to lose his starting place at Madrid when Marcelo is fully fit again next season. Carlo Ancelotti denies any rumours that the Portuguese defender will leave but if the right offer were to be made by Chelsea, he could be on his way to London and nail down a starting role with ease.
7/9 Edinson Cavani
After a season of playing in the shadow of Zlatan Ibrahimovic at PSG, Cavani looks likely to leave the French side after just one year and become the main man at an English club next season. Chelsea remain interested in the Uruguayan but Chelsea are despite a deal for Diego Costa already complete, but may face competition from Manchester United. The 27-year-old cost PSG €64.5million last summer, so any offer from Mourinho would take a large slice of his funds but with his striking power and goals an almost guarantee, it could be a risk worth going for.
8/9 Radamel Falcao
The Colombian striker did not regain fitness in time for the World Cup but it has given him a good chance to weigh up his future. Seemingly always in transfer rumours despite his €60m switch to Monaco last summer, Falcao is a long-term target of the Blues, though Diego Costa has filled the previously vacant No 9 role. The 28-year-old lit up La Liga during his two seasons with Atlectico Madrid but, mainly because of injury, has failed to live up to his price tag in France. If unrest reports are true, Chelsea could attempt an offer.
9/9 Raphael Varane
Reportedly unhappy at Real Madrid due to his low wages in comparison to his team-mates, the centre back has been linked with a move away. Chelsea are reportedly one of the clubs interested in the France international with Jose Mourinho seeing him as a long-term replacement for John Terry.
They signed Luiz from Benfica in January 2011 for £21m, at the same time as spending £50m on Fernando Torres. He started strongly and was later used by Rafa Benitez last season as a midfielder. Having pledged not to do the same, Mourinho has deployed the Brazilian in a similar position this season although he seemed to lack trust in the player on big occasions.
A free-spirited defender, Luiz is not the type of player that Mourinho would naturally have gravitated towards. It also further breaks up one of the dominant cliques within the club that included Torres and the now departed Juan Mata whose £37m sale also eased FFP worries. Barcelona and Bayern Munich have both shown interest in the player.
Chelsea announced losses of £49.4m in December, although they still managed to come in under the £37.5m Uefa benchmark for the last FFP monitoring period. Mourinho has mentioned the restrictions imposed by FFP on many occasions over the last season and it is a major consideration as the club try to give their manager resources to change his squad. Chelsea hope to sign the striker Diego Costa as part of their summer plan.