Why Chelsea Must Not Transfer Defender David Luiz to Barcelona

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Why Chelsea Must Not Transfer Defender David Luiz to Barcelona
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For all the criticism leveled at David Luiz—and there is plenty of it—the fact remains the Brazilian defender is an essential part of Chelsea.

Outside of the 26-year-old, John Terry and Gary Cahill, the Blues do not have have much cover at centre-back. There aren't too many signs that suggest a youngster from the club's academy is ready to make the step up and become a regular, either.

It's why reports in The Express linking David Luiz yet again with a move to Barcelona remain baffling.

Why would Chelsea sell him?

The reported £29 million fee is a significant factor, especially given the Blues reported a £49.4 million loss for the year ending June 2013.

Bringing in such significant funds would certainly help balance the books, but how much would the club actually set aside to do just that?

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The answer is very little. Not because Chief Executive Ron Gourlay isn't up to task or that the club cannot manage its finances. No, any fee for David Luiz would need to be spent on finding his replacement.

And what defender of a similar quality to the Brazilian is going to cost £29 million? Not many, especially when the clubs they play for will only be too aware of the transfer fee Chelsea would have received.

Where Chelsea are at right now, it would be a case of replacing like for like, not a cheap imitation.

From a business and sporting perspective, it's a move that simply wouldn't make sense.

Outside of the financial implications David Luiz's potential transfer to Barcelona would have, it's very short-sighted when considering Chelsea's squad.

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John Terry is nearing the end of his top-flight career. He is looking strong and back to his best now that Jose Mourinho has returned, but how long his body can sustain the rigors of Premier League football remains to be seen.

The fact that a defender of David Luiz's quality is at Stamford Bridge has meant Mourinho has been in a position to rest his captain at stages this term, drafting Cahill and Luiz in together as a perfectly able partnership.

Terry may have featured in every Premier League game, although it's a different story when it comes to the cup competitions, where the 33-year-old has spent time on the bench.

Football is no longer about 11 men turning up on a Saturday. There are so many more contributing factors, with the depth of a squad among the most vital.

Should Chelsea look to cash in on David Luiz?

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Whether it be Cahill or David Luiz missing out, Mourinho has the comfort of knowing that when times get hard through injuries or loss of form, he has others to call upon.

Chelsea know what David Luiz is capable of. He is settled in the English game, familiar with his surroundings and knows what to expect every week when turning out for the Blues.

It would be folly to gamble on finding that in another defender for the sake of offloading the Brazilian. Unless he wants to leave, of course.

That's another debate entirely, although reports thus far have been on the contrary, so until the time comes when David Luiz demands a move, the Blues should be doing all they can to fend off interest from his admirers.

Garry Hayes is Bleacher Report's lead Chelsea correspondent and will be following the club from a London base throughout the 2013-14 season. Follow him on Twitter here @garryhayes

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