Chelsea Transfer News: Latest on David Luiz, Remy Cabella and Thibaut Courtois

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistMay 24, 2014

With the start of the 2014 World Cup and the summer transfer window drawing ever closer, Chelsea have wasted little time trying to gain an advantage over their opponents in the market.

The first deal has reportedly already been struck, and plenty more movement in and out of Stamford Bridge is expected in the coming weeks.

Let's not waste any time and dive straight into the latest transfer stories surrounding the Blues.


David Luiz

Paris Saint-Germain's move for the Brazilian defender can only go through as soon as the transfer market officially opens, but barring any unforeseen circumstances, Chelsea's hairiest player will be plying his trade in Ligue 1 next season.

The club confirmed an agreement had been reached with the French champions via their website:

Chelsea Football Club and Paris Saint-Germain have agreed terms for the transfer of David Luiz to the French club.

The move is now subject to David Luiz agreeing personal terms with PSG and passing a medical examination.

The Daily Mail's Neil Ashton learned said medical proved to be a success, and a £50 million transfer fee will see the centre-back move to the City of Light. The French outfit wanted to move fast amid the interest of several other clubs, making Luiz the most expensive defender in football history:

The 27-year-old is set to become the world's most expensive defender, with the move beating the two previous highest fees - both paid by PSG, for Marquinhos and Thiago Silva.

PSG representatives flew out to Brazil to complete the medical at the World Cup hosts' training base on Friday.

PSG believe they are capturing one of the most stylish defensive players in the world and they are flexing their financial muscle again in what will be the first major transfer of a busy World Cup summer.

Sources in Paris have confirmed PSG had to move quickly to beat Barcelona and Bayern Munich which may explain the size of the fee they were prepared to pay.

The size of the transfer fee is indeed enormous, particularly as Luiz isn't widely regarded as the clear-cut choice when talking about the world's best defender (most pundits seem to believe future teammate Thiago Silva holds that title).

Luiz has excellent potential both as an athlete and a technician, but mental lapses and issues with concentration occasionally undermined his ability on the ball during his time in London. Playing next to Silva could hide those flaws, which is something we've already seen when the two paired for the Brazilian national team.

The defender himself appeared grateful for his time at the club in a message posted on his Twitter account:

The deal does seem to favour the Blues, however, as £50 million is a huge sum for any defender. With excellent options like Roma's Mehdi Benatia and Porto's Eliaquim Mangala potentially available on the open market, the gap left by Luiz's departure could be filled in a hurry, and at a lower price.

Chelsea also have French talent Kurt Zouma under contract, and the youngster should see his chances of making an impact at the club greatly increase following this move.


Remy Cabella

The Montpellier star was thought to be on his way to Newcastle, but according to Metro, Jose Mourinho could offer the player a more lucrative contract to make the switch to Chelsea:

The 24-year-old knows his game time would be limited at Chelsea but the opportunity to work with Jose Mourinho is tempting.

Chelsea are willing to offer him £90,000-a-week to snub Newcastle and make the switch, with both clubs ready to make £7million bids to Montpellier.

A agile and creative attacker who can play on the wing or as a number 10, Arsenal and Marseille have previously shown an interest in Cabella.

Cabella does his best work playing behind the strikers, in a similar role to current Blues Eden Hazard and Oscar. How the Frenchman would fit into Mourinho's plans is a bit of a mystery, but Chelsea have stockpiled creative midfielders in recent years, and solid depth is one of the keys to surviving a long season in the Premier League.

His greatest strength might be his proficiency in front of goal, having scored 14 times in 37 Ligue 1 appearances last season, per's Marco Conradie has learned Newcastle were previously trying to sign the player ahead of the upcoming World Cup:

Newcastle would seem like the more logical choice for the French midfielder, who could find it difficult to adapt to the pace of the Premier League in an environment as competitive as Chelsea's.

Mercurial talent like Kevin de Bruyne previously failed to break into the starting XI, and Cabella's ceiling appears to be lower than that of the Belgian international. He could be a useful option as a squad player, but Newcastle still seems like the better fit.


Thibaut Courtois

The vocal Belgian stopper is happy with Atletico Madrid and spoke out on his lack of a connection with his parent club in an interview with Sport-Bild (via The Guardian's Gary Payne):

The fans and my team-mates have not seen me as a player being on loan there.

I have no emotional attachment to Chelsea. They did sign me for €9m in 2011 but since then I have only been in London for my medical.

Chelsea didn’t want to loan me out last summer either. But I wanted to stay in Madrid. And this summer it will go on again and it will be even harder to find a solution.

It would appear his 2013-14 season in the Spanish capital may have been one too many, and while fans would rather hear a more positive message from Courtois, his message is one club officials could have expected.

Courtois has been living in Madrid since 2011 and has become a part of the club that oversaw his rise to greatness, winning the award for La Liga's best goalkeeper for the second year running in 2014.

The youngster's insistence on playing may be interpreted as a blatant lack of respect for Petr Cech, one of the world's best stoppers in his own right, but even Iker Casillas knows Courtois isn't just your average young goalkeeper, as shared by the UEFA Champions League's official Twitter account:

Courtois has the kind of confidence in his own skill every top player needs to have (think Zlatan Ibrahimovic or Cristiano Ronaldo), and it can easily be mistaken for arrogance. Both his level of play and his words are constant reminders of the dilemma Chelsea will soon have to face.

Cech deserves as much respect as the club can give him, but he is 10 years older than Courtois, meaning his career will come to an end soon. The Belgian, meanwhile, is ever growing further away from the club, and another loan spell could be interpreted as disrespectful of his obvious talent.

But he is too good to sit on the bench, and at this point it seems almost impossible for Chelsea to keep hold of both players. A choice will have to be made between a club legend who is still at the top of his game, and a 22-year-old who just might be the best stopper in the game already.

Having two world-class goalkeepers is only marginally better than having none, it would seem, and no one would want to be in Mourinho's shoes as he has to make a decision on this matter.



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