In order to bankroll a summer striker overhaul, Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho is reportedly plotting to sell exuberant Brazilian defender David Luiz to the highest bidder.
Fretting over the implications of Financial Flair Play incompliance, the Portuguese is prepared to axe the comically coiffed 26-year-old for big bucks, with continental behemoths Bayern Munchen and Barcelona keen on taking the former Benfica man.
Mourinho proved in selling Juan Mata to Manchester United for £35m that he considers all of those who don’t feature in his first XI expendable if the price is right.
The club can expect to pocket a figure north of the £21m the Blues paid to bring Luiz to Stamford Bridge should they move the player on.
Paris Saint-Germain are next up for the west Londoners, who are priced at 11/4 to prevail in the French capital.
Scarcely able to get a game in his preferred central defensive berth, the 36-cap Selecao star has featured more prominently in a midfield role this term, but Mourinho’s lack of faith in him was exemplified in the club’s recent 1-0 loss at Crystal Palace, hauling the player off at the interval for ‘tactical’ reasons.
Occasional indiscipline and eccentricity aside, Mourinho would be mad to throw away a talent of Luiz’s calibre and should look at funding his summer transfer splurge through the selling these alternatives:
The beleaguered Spaniard, sadly, is never going to rediscover the brilliance that made him the planet’s best striker when at Liverpool and is almost certain to be shipped out.
Inter recently stated that £5m was too steep for his services, but a potential loaning has been mooted in the press since, removing his six-figure weekly wage from the expenditure column on the accounts.
John Obi Mikel
Passing exclusively sideways and nowhere near energetic enough to be considered all-action, the Nigerian lacks many of the attributes to flourish at an elite English club, but could make an impression in a Serie A side where the intensity of games isn’t as high.
Luiz’s compatriot would command an exorbitant transfer fee and, with Ross Barkley allegedly a summer target too and Marco van Ginkel returning from injury, the Blues are flush for attacking midfield options.
The diminutive Sao Paulo favourite has missed ample games through tiredness this term and has struggled to produce his best form since Christmas, meaning Mourinho could be better suited placing faith in others in this role.