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Barcelona among host of clubs targeting David Luiz

Barcelona among host of clubs targeting David Luiz

Barcelona will face stiff competition to sign Chelsea defender David Luiz, who could be set to leave the West London side for a second time in four years, as per Daily Express.

The Catalan club are struggling for depth at the back, with first-choice central defender Samuel Umtiti currently out with a hamstring injury, while Argentine veteran Javier Mascherano linked with a move to China in the January transfer window.

Luiz has been having his own issues in defence at Chelsea, with his place in the squad under threat, with 21-year-old Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger going ahead of him in the pecking order during his absence.

Down the pecking order

The Brazilian international was sold to Paris Saint-Germain in France for £50m in 2014, before returning to Stamford Bridge two years later for £34m.

Despite making 33 league appearances in Chelsea’s title-winning season last year, Luiz has been restricted to just eight games in the Premier League, currently sidelined with a knee injury.

In his absence, Christensen has become an integral part of a defensive back three, alongside Cahill and Cesar Azpilicueta, while Rudiger has been promoted to back-up centre-back, leaving Luiz in the dark upon his return.

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The Brazilian is nearing full fitness and hopes to prove he is ready before the January transfer window opens, with Barca welcome to new additions at the back.

Mascherano replacement

With Umtiti out of action and Mascherano on the verge of leaving, Thomas Vermaelen is the only other recognised centre-back to partner Gerard Pique in defence.

This would leave a window of opportunity for Luiz, who will need game time to ensure he makes it on the plane to Russia for the World Cup next summer, while Barcelona would get a talented and experienced defender to boost their ranks and replacement Mascherano.

However, they will face stiff competition, with Premier League sides Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool and Manchester City also interested, along with former club PSG, Italian champions Juventus and Bundesliga outfit Bayern Munich.