Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has insisted Brazil international defender David Luiz will not be leaving Stamford Bridge, for any price, this summer, Sky Sports understands.
Luiz, 26, has been the subject of reported interest from FC Barcelona in recent times, with the Spanish champions still searching for a long-term replacement for aging centre-back Carles Puyol.
The Brazil international, who joined Chelsea from Portuguese Primeira Liga side S.L. Benfica for an undisclosed fee — believed to be in the region of €25 million — in January 2011, is extremely versatile and can deputise as a defensive midfielder and as a left-back.
At the moment, the Blues’ first-team squad consists of five centre-backs, including Luiz, Branislav Ivanović, captain John Terry, Gary Cahill and Tomáš Kalas, with the latter expected to used sparingly by Mourinho this season.
“No chance he is going to leave. He is a player we want to keep. He is a player with four years [on his] contract, he just signed a contract last year,” said Mourinho.
“We like him. He is an important player for the club and the club is not ready to sell him for any price.”
According to recent reports, the Brazil international has informed Chelsea of his desire to move to the Camp Nou, but Mourinho has moved to dismiss the aforementioned speculation.
“I don’t know if he said that. What I can say is that he is not going to,” added Mourinho.
“The last quotes I read were Luiz saying he is not speaking about clubs when he is with the national team, which is a fantastic quote that I appreciate.
“When they are with the national team they are national team players, they are not club players.
“That is the last quote I have and it is an intelligent one.”
Luiz, who likes to venture forward and shoot from distance, bagged seven goals and five assists in 57 appearances in all competitions for the UEFA Europa League champions last season.
Hull City sign Huddlestone
Hull City A.F.C. have completed the signings of Tom Huddlestone, on a three-year deal, and Jake Livermore, on a season-long loan deal, from Tottenham Hotspur, according to the Tigers’ official website, www.hullcityafc.net.
Huddlestone and Livermore, both England internationals, will join the squad for the first time on Thursday, with the top-flight newcomers scheduled to travel to Stamford Bridge to take on Chelsea on Sunday.
Huddlestone, formerly of Derby County, is delighted with the move and hopes to establish himself in the Tigers’ first-team under manager Steve Bruce.
“These are obviously very exciting times for the club and for me,” said Huddlestone.
“Hopefully I can come here, cement my place in the starting eleven and do well for the club.”
Now then, can Hull City, who have also added the likes of Allan McGregor, Curtis Davies, Danny Graham, Maynor Figueroa, Steve Harper and Yannick Sagbo to their squad this summer, stave off “the drop” this season? It’s definitely possible, but do not place your bets just yet.
Of the three newly promoted clubs (Cardiff City, Crystal Palace and Hull City), Cardiff — without a shadow of a doubt — have the best chance of survival after a sensational summer spending-spree, leaving both Hull and Palace susceptible to relegation.