Chelsea could seek to strike a player-plus-cash deal with Bayern Munich for the services of Mario Mandzukic this summer, in a deal that would see David Luiz move in the opposite direction.
The Mirror's Martin Lipton reports Jose Mourinho will look to use the German giants' interest in his defender as bait to solve the attacking woes at Stamford Bridge. Lipton details that Bayern would need to pay £15 million in addition to trading the Croatian.
Reporter Clark Whitney, courtesy of SportBild, provides a statement from Pep Guardiola:
Guardiola, to Mandzukic: "I wish you luck at your new club" - via SportBild. Chelsea swap with David Luiz may be imminent— Clark Whitney (@Mr_Bundesliga) May 16, 2014
Samuel Eto'o has reached the end of his one-year deal in west London, while Fernando Torres and Demba Ba failed to find consistent form this season, leading the Blues to pursue numerous striking targets in recent months.
Whose purchase should Chelsea prioritise?
Paul Gorst of the Mirror reported earlier in May that Atletico Madrid forward Diego Costa is already destined to join Mourinho's project after the Champions League final later this month.
But the Portuguese won't stop the hunt there, apparently, and he sees the impending arrival of Robert Lewandowski at the Allianz Arena as an opportunity to pick up a deadly asset of his own.
The Times' Rory Smith believes Mourinho's efforts are far better spent looking to seal Costa's signature:
@jake_meador Costa is four times better than Mandzukic.— Rory Smith (@RorySmithTimes) May 12, 2014
Both Mandzukic and David Luiz are somewhat expendable characters in their respective settings right now. The former's place in Pep Guardiola's squad is sure to come under fire as a result of Lewandowski's acquisition, while Gary Cahill and John Terry have prevented Luiz from claiming a regular spot in Chelsea's central defence.
However, Huw Davies of FourFourTwo believes Luiz is no better than current Bayern incumbent and international teammate Dante:
@snap_kaka_pop I'd have to agree on Filipe Luis. Shame about Sandro. Personally I don't understand why David Luiz starts ahead of Dante...— Huw Davies (@thehuwdavies) May 6, 2014
Luiz's chances of departing would also seem strengthened after it was announced earlier in the week that Terry had put pen to paper on a one-year contract extension, per the Guardian's Dominic Fifield.
There is a chance the Brazilian could still find his way into the Chelsea starting line-up in midfield, a deeper-lying role that he has often switched to during his time in England.
It was in this position that Mourinho heaped praise on the former Benfica star following his performance against Paris Saint-Germain in this season's Champions League quarter-finals, per the Daily Mail's Jack Gaughan: "They worked like animals my midfield, David Luiz is a monster."
However, his desire to bring in top striking talent may lead Mourinho to make the tough decision on where his recruitment priorities lie this summer, with Bayern eager to make Luiz one of their own, per Spanish newspaper El Mundo Deportivo (h/t 101 Great Goals).
With each party alleged to be interested in something the other possesses, it would seem possible that a deal along these lines can be struck, but with both Luiz and Mandzukic set to feature at this summer's World Cup, it could be some time before a decision is reached.