Jose Mourinho might let David Luiz walk away from Stamford Bridge this summer, but it won't be without getting the better end of the deal.
According to Duncan Castles of Goal.com, Chelsea have rejected Barcelona's £21.5 million for the 26-year-old defender. That doesn't mean the Blues have rejected the notion of selling the Brazil international—they just want the La Liga outfit to double their offer to £43 million.
If you're thinking that's a staggering figure, it's because it is.
The exorbitant cost would be the highest figure paid for a defender, topping the £37 million Paris St-Germain coughed up to buy Thiago Silva last year.
At first glance, Chelsea's demand seems ridiculous since Luiz was ranked the No. 10 defender in the Premier League (and No. 35 in the whole league) last season by WhoScored.com's match rating metric.
That's a strong season, but not quite a £43 million one.
However, the fee is more understandable when looking at how valuable he is to Chelsea.
The Blues were among the top defensive teams in the league last year. They were third in goals allowed over the season, with just 1.02 goals allowed on 12.2 shots conceded per match. A huge part of that success was down to Luiz patrolling the box.
With Chelsea again looking to qualify for the Champions League and challenge for the Premier League title, Luiz is a vital part of their roster.
As well as his importance this season, Luiz's age makes him all the more valuable at Stamford Bridge. He's entering the prime of his career and is the youngest of Chelsea's four best defenders.
Gary Cahill (27), Branislav Ivanovic (29) and Ashley Cole (32) aren't going to suddenly fall off the map, but Luiz can realistically expect to play at this level for another four years at least.
Mourinho's request to double the bid perfectly demonstrates his understanding of the market.
Barcelona are in a precarious situation. They expressed a desire to strengthen their defense with a high-profile signing when they came up short on Thiago Silva again.
That leaves Luiz as one of the few options that would satisfy their desire to shore up the defense.
Which in turn leaves Chelsea with the upper hand in negotiations. Mourinho has certainly shown an ability to use that to his advantage thus far.
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