After spending much of the last few weeks rebuffing Manchester United’s attempt to lift one of their players, Barcelona now seem keen to do a bit of recruiting themselves. The Catalan club have never been shy to spend big bucks on their forward players, but laying out the lucre on defenders isn’t really their style. I know they acquired both Dani Alves and Jordi Alba, but these are really only full backs by name, rather than application. The club’s pursuit of Chelsea’s Brazilian defender David Luiz however may change all that.
It’s understood that Luiz is the Blaugrana’s number one choice to fill the gap left by the aging Carlos Puyol, alongside Gerard Pique in the Catalans’ defence. Whilst over the last season or two, with Puyol’s age and injuries restricting his appearances, a combination of younger ‘cantera’ products have been blooded, and holding midfielders such Mascherano and Song have been deployed. This was however ruthlessly exposed by the Teutonic efficiency of Bayern Munich in the semi-final of the Champions’ League last season. It was a sign that something must be done.
Given the style of Luiz, there’s a clear fit with the Barca ethos, and some reports have it that the Brazilian wouldn’t be adverse to the move. Chelsea however, are reluctant to part with him, and have immediately slapped a £40million price tag on the defender. Whilst a ‘warning shot across the bows’ this may not deter the Catalan club if they have identified Luiz as their man. It seems likely that the next few weeks will see a ramping up of the pressure on Chelsea, and should Luiz offer any kind of encouragement to Barcelona, a deal could follow.
If Barca are thwarted in their pursuit of Luiz, press reports suggest that they will then move their attention to Liverpool’s Daniel Aggar. Like Luiz, Aggar is also an accomplished ‘footballing defender’ and may well come at a cheaper price than Luiz. It’s interesting to note that although Barca are looking to shop in England, their penchant in very much for imported goods, rather than English defenders.