Chelsea look to Raphaël Varane as David Luiz is set for PSG

By 06:54 Sat, 24 May 2014 Comments

Chelsea will explore the possibility

of signing the young Real Madrid

centre-half Raphaël Varane after

agreeing to sell David Luiz to

Paris Saint-Germain for an initial

fee of around £40m, a world

record sum for a defender.

David Luiz, a £23.5m signing from

Benfica in January 2011, has

played 143 games for Chelsea and

claimed the Champions League

and Europa League while at the

club but found himself something

of a stop-gap at both centre-half

and in defensive midfield last

season. At 27, and with Barcelona

and Bayern Munich also

established as long-standing

admirers, he represents a saleable

asset as Chelsea seek to rejig their

squad within Uefa’s financial fair

play regulations. He has agreed a

four-year deal with the French

club, with an option for a further


The fee for the Brazilian could

rise to as much as £50m with

appearances and honours – an

amount PSG, who are more

bullish about maintaining their

lavish spending of recent years,

are prepared to pay – and that

would grant José Mourinho leeway

in the transfer market this

summer to strengthen his own

squad. The Spain forward Diego

Costa is expected to join from

Atlético Madrid for £31.8m,

triggering the buyout clause in his

contract at Vicente Calderón, while

there is interest in securing a

second striker, with Bayern’s

Mario Mandzukic admired.

Chelsea are also seeking a left-

back to replace the departing

Ashley Cole, with Sevilla’s Alberto

Moreno and Filipe Luís at Atlético

tracked. Mourinho has cover at

centre-half, where John Terry has

signed on for a further season,

Gary Cahill has excelled and

Branislav Ivanovic can perform.

The youngsters Tomas Kalas – who

played in the wins at Liverpool

and Cardiff towards the end of

the season – and Kurt Zouma,

signed mid-season from St-Etienne

but retained by the French club

for the rest of the campaign, will

also seek first-team involvement,

though Chelsea will still look into

recruiting Varane.

The France international, 21,

played regularly under Mourinho

towards the end of his time at

Real but, hampered by an injury

to his right knee, has found his

opportunities more limited at the

Bernabéu this term. Yet he

remains a player of immense

promise and Chelsea will find out

their chances of securing his

services in the days ahead.

Mourinho expects Nemanja Matic

to be his first-choice holding

midfielder next season, which

would have limited David Luiz’s

chances of playing that role. In

the end the fee offered by PSG

has proved too enticing as the

French club, conscious of Bayern

and Barça’s interest in the player,

met Chelsea’s valuation.

Officials from the Parisian club

have travelled to South America

and David Luiz is to undertake a

medical at Brazil’s pre-World Cup

training camp and the move is

likely to be concluded over the

weekend. But he will not be

joined in Paris by his current his

club-mates Eden Hazard, a long-

term target for PSG’s owners,

Qatari Sports Investments, or

Oscar as Chelsea are intent on

retaining both attacking

midfielders. Another midfielder,

Frank Lampard, is still expected

to sign a new one-year contract at

the club before England’s

departure for the World Cup


The five most expensive

defenders before David Luiz

David Luiz’s impending move to

PSG could be worth up to £50m

and would make him the world’s

most expensive defender. But a

big price tag does not guarantee

success, just ask Fábio Coentrão.

Doug Revolta takes a look at the

five most expensive defenders in


1) Thiago Silva: Milan to PSG,

£35.5m, 2012 The centre-back

enjoyed three successful seasons

with Milan before a big-money

move beckoned to the French

giants who took Zlatan

Ibrahimovic in the same move.

Silva has since become captain for

PSG and the Brazil national side,

claiming two Ligue 1 titles and

the French League Cup to become

widely thought of as one of the

world’s best defenders, not just

the most expensive.

2) Rio Ferdinand: Leeds United

to Manchester United, £33.1m,

2002 A string of impressive

performances at the World Cup

with England in 2002 prompted

United to make Ferdinand the

most expensive British player in

history. Ferdinand went straight

into United’s defence and

remained a lynchpin at the back

throughout his time at Old

Trafford, forming a formidable

partnership with Nemanja Vidic

after the Serbian joined in 2006.

Ferdinand made over 400

appearances for the Red Devils

and departs the club this summer

after 12 years of service.

3) Marquinhos: Roma to PSG,

£27m, 2013 Marquinhos joined

Roma in the summer of 2012 for

just £3.2m from Corinthians but a

promising debut season in Serie A

saw PSG pay £27m for the then

19-year-old who had just 26 senior

appearances with Roma to his

name. The defender has not been

a permanent fixture at his new

club this season however, and has

often found himself making

appearances from the bench. The

Brazilian has only one

international cap and failed to

make Luiz Felipe Scolari’s World

Cup squad.

4) Fábio Coentrão: Benfica to

Real Madrid, £27m, 2011 José

Mourinho met Coentrão’s buy-out

clause and brought the left-back

to Real Madrid off the back of his

strong performances for Benfica.

The defender signed a six-year

contract with the Spanish outfit

but has been a bit-part player

during his three seasons in La

Liga, often played out of his

favoured position. Marcelo has

remained Real’s first-choice left-

back and Coentrão looked set for

a deadline-day move to

Manchester United last summer,

only for the move to collapse at

the eleventh hour. He continues

to be linked with a move away.

5) Pepe: Porto to Real Madrid,

£25m, 2007 After establishing

himself as one of the top

defenders in the Portuguese

league, Pepe signed for Real

Madrid in 2007 on a five-year

contract. Barring an injury-

stricken campaign in his second

season in Spain, Pepe has been an

ever-present for club and country

since the move and has formed

notable defensive partnerships

over the years with Ricardo

Carvalho and Sergio Ramos. The

Portuguese player’s fiery

temperament on the pitch has

seen him involved in numerous

controversial incidents, mostly

involving Barcelona, and he has

often felt the wrath of Real’s fans

as a result.



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