Paris Saint-Germain are considering the sale of David Luiz after former club Chelsea tabled a substantial offer to take the defender back to Stamford Bridge.
Luiz moved to the Parc des Princes in the summer of 2014 in a £50 million deal from Chelsea, and won nine trophies as part of a team that completed two consecutive domestic clean sweeps under former boss Laurent Blanc’s leadership.
He has started all four of the French champions’ competitive fixtures so far this season. But Le Parisien reported earlier this month that new coach Unai Emery told the Brazil international that he is no longer guaranteed a starting role.
Captain Thiago Silva is back in training and expected to be available after the international break, while Marquinhos has returned after a successful Olympic campaign with Brazil in Rio de Janeiro and is available once again. Both figure ahead of Luiz in Emery’s reported pecking order.
Chelsea’s offer for the 29-year-old, reported to be around £35m, has been rejected by PSG, but talks between the two clubs are continuing as the sale is being given serious consideration by the French club, who had previously decided that their transfer business was over, the source added.
The reason for this change of heart is that the possibility of selling one of the club’s four non-European Union players (players without a European passport) — indispensable skipper Silva, plus Luiz, Maxwell and Lucas Moura — has not been there until now.
The dilemma for PSG is that recently appointed director of football Patrick Kluivert is very keen to bring in an additional striker to backup or compete with the struggling Edinson Cavani and almost all of Les Parisiens’ summer targets in this area were non-European.
Luiz, contrary to popular belief, does not possess a Portuguese passport from his time with SL Benfica and counts towards one of the club’s non-EU slots.
With Gabriel Barbosa now at Inter Milan, one of the Ligue 1 giants’ main transfer objectives is unattainable and PSG doubt they can complete a deal for an alternative in the next 24 hours or less to fill this void. One of the strikers likely to be reconsidered, though, is AC Milan’s Carlos Bacca.
Should PSG manage to successfully sell Luiz back to Chelsea and bring in one of their attacking options, they are unlikely to reinforce the defence.
This would leave Silva, Marquinhos and Presnel Kimpembe — who himself recently suggested that he and Luiz are not considered starters by Emery — as the only natural central defenders in the squad.
Right-back Serge Aurier, who is capable of playing in the middle as well, would cover as the fourth choice centre-back.