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Luiz sale frees Mourinho up to pursue ‘best young defender’

| 27.05.2014

£40m is hard to turn down no matter what club you are and whom the bid revolves around, but when it’s for a centre back that struggles to defend on occasions and plays more like a midfielder, you gobble the cash up like it’s the Last Supper.

David Luiz’s multi-million pound switch from Chelsea to Paris Saint-Germain is set to be completed and his departure provides Jose Mourinho both the squad space and the cash-weaponry to mount a pursuit of one of his more favoured former charges.

During his time at Real Madrid, Mourinho fell out with his fair share of players. However, he had nothing but praise for young centre back Raphael Varane, whom he once labelled the “best young defender in the world.”

With Luiz all but gone, Mourinho now has John Terry and Gary Cahill as his unrivalled first-choice pairing at the heart of defence. Kurt Zouma, signed from St Etienne last January then loaned straight back to the Ligue 1 club, will be available this season as a deputy, but the Portuguese would still like another player to boost the stocks.

21-year-old Tomas Kalas played in the heart of Chelsea’s defence in the final two Premier League games of the season but, while he impressed, isn’t likely to put up much of a fight to Varane in Mourinho’s eyes.

Chelsea, who finished third in the top-flight this season and are 9/4 to go two better in 2014/15, only used Luiz at centre back 12 times in all competitions last season, so will need some cavalry in that area next term regardless.

Injuries hampered Varane’s ability to nail down a regular starting spot in the Madrid lineup under Carlo Ancelotti, and although he was named in the triumphant Champions League final side, could be tempted to team up with Mourinho once again.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.