Wednesday 22 November 2017

Guardiola primed to make €40m bid for Luiz

Jose Mourinho keeps a watchful eye on his players during training on their tour of Asia
Jose Mourinho keeps a watchful eye on his players during training on their tour of Asia

Jason Burt

Bayern Munich are understood to be considering a €40m (£34.5m) move for Chelsea defender David Luiz.

The European champions insisted this month that they had no interest in the 26-year-old, who has been a long-term target of Barcelona. But it is believed that Bayern's new coach Pep Guardiola is now asking for a move for the Brazilian and contact was made over the weekend.

Chelsea have denied that they have any plans to sell Luiz following claims that he could be used as a makeweight in a deal to sign Wayne Rooney from Manchester United and may not fit into the plans of new manager Jose Mourinho.

Luiz, who returned to training yesterday having missed Chelsea's tour to the Far East because of his participation in the Confederations Cup, is not pushing to leave.

However, if he is sold by Chelsea, it is believed he would prefer to leave the Premier League and has no interest in playing for another English club.

Luiz joined Chelsea in January 2011 from Benfica in a deal that amounted to £25m – £21.5m cash and midfielder Nemanja Matic moving in the other direction – and has been talked about as a future Chelsea captain, signing a bumper new deal only last year to fend off rising interest in him. He has also become a key player for Brazil under coach Luiz Felipe Scolari.

Barcelona are in the market for a central defender and were thwarted in their efforts to sign Luiz's international team-mate Thiago Silva from Paris St-Germain.

It is understood that Barcelona would be Luiz's preferred destination but he would not balk at the opportunity to join Bayern and work with Guardiola.

If Bayern do offer €40m – plus €5m based on bonuses and targets being met – then it would be a tempting offer for Chelsea.

Mourinho has stated that there is "no chance" that he will sell Luiz. However, a deal could give him the opportunity to strengthen other areas of his team.

The Chelsea manager has also spoken of the need to improve Luiz's decision-making on the pitch, and the player will have to be far more disciplined if he is to fit into the Portuguese's plans.

Target

Mourinho has publicly declared that Rooney is his only transfer target – and that Chelsea could bid £30m for the 27-year-old striker, who wants to join them, having had an initial offer of less than £25m rejected by Manchester United.

However, Chelsea may have to bid higher for Rooney, with discussions having been held over an offer closer to £40m, given that United insist the England international is not for sale this summer.

Mourinho may also want to add a holding midfielder to his team, especially if John Obi Mikel moves on, and he has considered a move for Xabi Alonso from his former club Real Madrid, although Chelsea's priorities in the transfer market this summer are to continue to buy young players – such as Andre Schurrle and Marco van Ginkel – and reduce the average age of their squad.

Chelsea have also been linked with a move for Brazilian U-20 starlet Doria, an 18-year-old central defender with Botafogo.

Meanwhile, Trabzonspor have confirmed that former Chelsea duo Florent Malouda and Jose Bosingwa will finalise their respective moves to the club this week.

Midfielder Malouda (33) and defender Bosingwa (30) have been pictured undergoing medicals at the Turkish club in recent days and will arrive as free agents.

France international Malouda was released by Chelsea at the end of last season after spending the whole of the 2012-13 campaign frozen out of the first team.

Bosingwa, who spent four years at Chelsea between 2008 and 2012, joins from QPR, who earlier yesterday announced that the former Portugal defender had left the club by mutual consent. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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