In an attempt to find some way of cutting a deal for David Luiz, Barcelona have reportedly offered Chelsea a player exchange involving Alexis Sanchez or Alex Song in order to recruit the Brazilian defender.
Luis F. Rojo of Spanish newspaper Marca alleges that Barca are back in the hunt for Luiz after failing to sign him last summer, and that the Spanish giants have identified Sanchez and Song as two of those who could be a part of the deal.
The report states that Chelsea are seeking a sum of €35 million for the Brazil international, but that La Blaugrana are unlikely to stump up the fee in cash, leaving player exchange as the most likely source of payment.
It was suggested prior to Barcelona's Copa del Rey final against Real Madrid last month that a war of words had broken out between Sanchez and Gerardo Martino, leading to speculation that the former could be edging closer to the Camp Nou exit.
However, Tom Conn of Inside Spanish Football quotes the player's agent Fernando Felicevich in issuing the following statement not long after:
After speaking with Alexis, he requested that I categorically deny the version of events pertaining to an altercation with the manager of FCB. Throughout his 10-year career, he’s never at any point had any problem with his coaches, much less insult them. He’s always been a consummate professional.
The Chilean international could be a useful pickup for the Blues, considering he would be able to play on the flanks that Jose Mourinho likes to utilise in his current system as well as play in a more central capacity if needed.
WhoScored.com show just how proficiently Sanchez has shot back into form this season, despite Barca's inconsistencies:
Alexis Sánchez: Only Cristiano Ronaldo, Diego Costa, and Lionel Messi have scored more goals in La Liga this season than Sánchez (18)— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) May 3, 2014
Despite Sanchez's impressive stats, Song's trade would make more sense positionally, with one defensive-minded player being replaced with another.
Barca's hopes of signing Luiz could come undone under pressure from Bayern Munich, however, as beIN Sports' Tancredi Palmeri says defence will be a priority for manager Pep Guardiola this summer:
Mourinho would undoubtedly prefer a cash settlement if Luiz is to be sold in order to make moves of his own creation, and with Kurt Zouma soon to join up with the squad his replacement may already be at Stamford Bridge.
Barca may have to find other resources among their squad to interest the Blues enough to part ways with Luiz, who is very much a man in demand for a host of top clubs on the continent.