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

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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Posted By bobricky On 05:54 Sat, 24 May 2014

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