Wednesday 21 August 2019

Luiz Chelsea fallout piques Real interest

Chelsea's David Luiz. Photo: Reuters
Chelsea's David Luiz. Photo: Reuters

Matt Law and Jason Burt

Real Madrid have been alerted to David Luiz's fallout with Chelsea as they draw up their January transfer plans. Zinedine Zidane has admitted Real could be in the market for players and Luiz has been discussed as a potential target.

Luiz fell out with Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte after the Champions League draw with Roma at Stamford Bridge, when the Brazilian central defender was ticked off for his reaction to being substituted.

There were further problems between the pair following the 3-0 defeat in Rome after which Conte conducted a fiery dressing-room inquest.

Luiz trained alone and was subsequently dropped from the squad for the visit of Manchester United after being perceived to question Conte's tactics and he also sat out the victory over West Bromwich Albion and the draw with Liverpool, despite being recalled for the Champions League victory over Qarabag last week.

Conte claimed that a knee injury would stop Luiz facing Swansea City at Stamford Bridge tonight and doubts remain over the 30-year-old's future at Chelsea.

"I can tell you who are the players not available for the Swansea game - it's David Luiz, for a knee problem, and Charly Musonda," said Conte.

"I must be honest, in this moment, it's very difficult for me to answer how long David Luiz will be out. It will be up to the doctor to assess the situation very well and then to take the best decision for the player."

Selling Luiz in the January window would be a risky move for Chelsea, with Conte already concerned about the depth of his squad. But a deal could be considered if they found a replacement.

Luiz, who has just over 18 months remaining of his contract, returned to Chelsea from Paris St-Germain in the summer of 2016 for £34 million and was named in the PFA Team of the Year last season as the club won the Premier League title.

Meanwhile, Conte has claimed he will wait for owner Roman Abramovich to ask him what Chelsea need to close the gap on leaders Manchester City, rather than making his own demands.

Chelsea remain interested in Ross Barkley, who turned down a summer deadline-day switch to Stamford Bridge, while Conte is understood to want a new striker and another left wing-back.

© Daily Telegraph, London

The Left Wing: The 'hell' of World Cup training camp, Ireland's half-back dilemma and All Blacks uncertainty

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport