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David Luiz: Signed for £21.3 million Plus Nemanja Matic in 2011
When Luiz's name was being linked to major European clubs, Benfica insisted "they would not accept any offer under the €50 [£42] million release clause", per Dominic Fifield at The Guardian.
Negotiating Luiz's transfer fee to Chelsea would start at his unreasonable release clause, so Benfica were putting the onus on the Blues to chip away knowing their management were desperate to land a marquee centre-back.
Benfica ramped up the pressure by ending negotiations and releasing a statement saying Luiz's proposed move to Chelsea collapsed, from SLBenfica.pt via Graeme Bailey at Sky Sports:
The negotiations between Benfica and Chelsea F.C with regard to the potential transfer of David Luiz, were concluded today without the parties reaching an agreement.
Benfica are happy to be able to keep in their ranks a player with the sporting quality and moral shown by David Luiz.
Unlike some news that had come up these last few days, David Luiz never tried to force his exit, he is an exemplary professional, worthy of the shirt he wears.
This was January 28, 2011.
Several days later, Chelsea rushed through the deal on transfer deadline day.
Why Chelsea Lost Out to Benfica
Luiz was cup-tied for the UEFA Champions League that season, so the Blues did not need to give up so much.
- Chelsea relinquished a world-class prospect in Matic just to ensure Luiz's transfer did not collapse again. See, Benfica's ploy in walking away the first time influenced the Blues to act irrationally.
- Benfica conveniently avoided discussions about Luiz's positional play in defeats to Academica, Guimaraes and Nacional that season.
- Out of position at left-back during the 5-0 defeat to Porto, Luiz was humiliated by Hulk in a display Zonal Marking's Michael Cox described as "hopeless".
- And, here is the kicker to this transfer, per Jason Burt at The Telegraph: "However, after a series of meetings over the weekend, the two clubs moved closer with the Portuguese lowering their price by €10 million when it became apparent there would be no other bidders."
- The Blues wilted when they were the only club seriously vying for Luiz's services.
Luiz Is Not Improving
In his fourth season at Chelsea, Luiz has progressively declined.
He averages 0.6 tackles per league game this season; Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi both average higher tackles per game than Luiz (0.9).
Whenever Luiz attempts a tackle in league-play, there is a 77 percent chance he will fail.
Luiz completes 84.9 percent of his passes while his compatriot Dante has a 91 percent pass completion percentage and he attempts 2.3 more long passes per game than Luiz.
Luiz said he turned to God when he was dropped by Blues manager Jose Mourinho.
Chelsea will need to pray for divine intervention if any major European club is stupid enough to buy Luiz from them for £20 million plus.