Manchester United have been linked with a shock move for unsettled Chelsea defender David Luiz in one of the most bizarre transfer rumours to have surfaced so far this season.
A surprising star of Chelsea’s Premier League title winning side, a fully fit Luiz was left out of the squad for United’s visit to London before the international break following suggestions of an argument with Antonio Conte relating to a 3-0 hammering in Rome a few days earlier.
His omission from the game immediately threw up exit rumours, fuelled further when Conte admitted he didn’t know if the Brazilian had a Stamford Bridge future, while Luiz was even thought to have been temporarily training separately as a result of the bust-up.
Reports in Spain earlier this month suggested Luiz was eyeing a move to Barcelona, while the Daily Express has now boldly claimed that former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho is keeping an eye on the situation with a view to taking the player to Old Trafford.
The questionable report suggests that Luiz remains ‘angry’ over the recent ‘humiliation’ he has suffered at the hands of Conte, putting forward a possible move as early as January.
It is a difficult one to believe. Mourinho was famously happy to see the back of Luiz at Chelsea when Paris Saint-Germain paid £50m for the player in the summer of 2014, having often only trusted the sometimes kamikaze defender in midfield during the previous campaign.
Yet despite a history of bad blood, the Express claims that Mourinho was impressed by Luiz’s performances when he rejoined Chelsea from PSG last season.
United are already well stocked at centre-back, though, with Phil Jones and Eric Bailly both favourites of Mourinho’s. The boss has continually urged patience with 22-year-old summer signing Victor Lindelof, who performed well in a World Cup playoff for Sweden against Italy this week, while Chris Smalling has a level of Premier League experience few others do.
Marcos Rojo is also now waiting in the wings once more after making his comeback from a long-term knee injury in an Under-23 game a few days ago.
One must also not rule out the cynical angle and the possibility that the story has been planted by Mourinho’s camp in an attempt to unsettle and upset a direct rival by causing further unrest and unease within their ranks, a tactic not uncommon in modern media-hungry football.