Chelsea are on the verge of making a big splash in the January transfer window by securing the transfer of Brazilian international David Luiz from Benfica for £21.5M

David Luiz Set For Chelsea, Again

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David Luiz Completes Transfer To Chelsea From Benfica

David Luiz is now officially a Chelsea player, signing a five-and-a-half year deal (according to SB Nation community blog We Ain't Got No History). Completing a deal that was on again, off again two times today, the 23-year-old Brazilian defender moves for a minimum €25 million, with midfielder Nemanja Matic also said to be moving to Benfica at year's end as a makeweight.

While the Fernando Torres acquisition will rightfully garner the greater headlines, Luiz's signing may be a bigger immediate need. Even when healthy, Chelsea's defending has proven more questionable than in previous seasons. At the top of an increasingly competitive Premier League, that slip would be enough to see them fall behind Manchester United. That their midfield also went through a disastrous spell in the season's first half meant Chelsea went crashing to the edge of the league's Champions League spots.

Increased health has seen the midfield problem solved, and with the acquisition of Luiz, some of the issues the club faces at the back will be augmented. Depth in central defense has been a problem since before Alex's knee injury. In addition, the defense has looks slow and unathletic, at seems appearing to unduly rely on Branislav Ivanovic. Luiz's acquisition may not do anything to decrease that dependence, but at least it allow sAncelotti to use Ivanovic on the right, spelling the increasingly fragile and decreasingly effective (defensively) José Bosingwa.

The biggest question is how Luiz may fit in on the right of John Terry, with both Luiz and the Chelsea captain accustomed to playing on the left of a central pairing. That, however, could prove to me a minor concern, with a talent like Luiz likely to overcome a potentially minor positional adjustment.


David Luiz Move From Benfica To Chelsea Back On, Blues To Pay At Least 25 Million Euro

The zombie transfer has been resurrected. David Luiz now appears set to move to London, with Chelsea and Benfica agreeing to a deal which could rise to €35 million, according to Portugal publication A Bola.

So what's happened? When we last left you, a deal rumored to be €25 million plus Nemanja Matic was sidetracked when Luiz was pulled off a plane for England. Now it seems Luiz will sign his new contract in Lisbon, but under new conditions.

Matic is no longer part of the deal, hinting that the Serbian midfielder may not have wanted to move to Lisbon. In his place, Chelsea has augmented the €25 million fee with €3.5 million in performance clauses. Chelsea also agrees to play a friendly in Lisbon, and while the estimated gate for that is €1.5 million, A Bola estimates the match could push the total benefit to €35 million for Benfica.

All of which is a complicated way of saying both sides had their hearts set on a deal. It appears they tried to call each others' bluffs this weekend, but come Monday, they were willing to do whatever it took to get a deal done. Even when they couldn't get Matic into the deal, the clubs found a way to keep the price tag at €25 million while getting Benfica the value they want.

While we've seen other deals waver between life and death, the Luiz deal takes the cake, for this transfer window. It is the most undead of all dead deals.


Benfica Pull David Luiz Off Plane To London, Chelsea Transfer In Doubt

It much have been love, but it's over now, at least as it concerns David Luiz's proposed move to London. What was once on, then off, then on again is back off, with reports saying the 23-year-old Brazilian has been pulled off a plane headed to London.

Benfica have pulled Luiz off his plane to London and told him to stay in Lisbon. Benfica say they are 'analysing' #CFC offer.less than a minute ago via web

(Note: Castles tweet may or may not originate in this Portuguese source.)

Castles, from The Times of London, was the first to tweet that Chelsea and Benfica had rekindled the transfer thought dead, news that was later picked up and reported more widely. Now comes word from the same source that Luiz may stay in Lisbon. With just over two hours of the transfer window left, there's almost no time for another round of reconsideration, travel, medical, and contract negotiation.Somebody may have put this zombie down.

So what happened to make the deal break down this time? Hopefully, we'll find out. Whereas last week's deal was reportedly held-up over disagreements in payment structure, today's deal seemed to avoid such pitfalls by including Nemanja Matic.

And there is where the problem possibly lies. If the only difference between last week's negotiation and this week's deal is the inclusion of the Serbian midfielder, we should consider if the prospect even wants to play in Lisbon.


Chelsea FC Agrees To Pay 25 Million Euros, Nemanja Matic To Benfica For David Luiz

Minutes after reports that Chelsea and Benfica had finally agreed terms on a deal sending 23-year-old Brazilian defender David Luiz to London come details. According to A Bola, Luiz will cost the Blues up to €25 million plus Serbian midfielder Nemanja Matic, currently on loan at Vitesse in the Dutch Eredivisie. The deal still awaits personal terms being reached between clubs and players, but after the deal seemed dead this weekend, this zombie is on the verge of being completed.

The money going to Benfica will see an initial fee of €20 million climbing to €25 million based on performance, which would be paid in 2013. In the interim, Luiz would move to Stamford Bridge, potentially slotting in next to John Terry, though both players regularly play left-center half. However, with John Terry's back problem looking chronic, Alex out and Branislav Ivanovic perhaps needed at right back, the immediate addition of Luiz should provide cover against Chelsea having to force Jeffrey Bruma back into the team.

Luiz was part of Benfica's Liga Sagres title winning side last season, the club snapping FC Porto's run of four consecutive league titles. Since last summer's World Cup, Luiz has claimed a starting spot in central defense for Brazil, often starting along side Milan's Thiago Silva in Mano Menezes' back four.


Chelsea To Miss Out On David Luiz As Benfica Confirms End Of Transfer Negotiations

In a statement published on their web site this morning, Benfica confirmed that transfer talks between the club and English Premier League side Chelsea have concluded, the object of those talks - 23-year-old Brazilian central defender David Luiz - to stay in Lisbon. While the clubs were close to a £21.5 million deal just days ago, now Chelsea must look to another source for relieve at the back, where the team lacks meaningful cover for John Terry and Branislav Ivanovic.

Since reports of a near deal surfaced early this week, the proposed price had risen to £26 million, a fee Chelsea was apparently set to pay. However, according to speculation on the mid-week edition of the Guardian's Football Weekly podcast, the quibbling point between the clubs was the amount of money to be paid up-front. Whereas, it was said, Chelsea was willing to give an initial payment of £20 million, Benfica wanted the entire payment immediately.

Whether that was the final stumbling block, Benfica's statement did not say. The finality of the statement's language, however, makes it clear that both clubs have agreed to step away. Perhaps the mutual nature of the accord hints at a rekindling come summer, but for now, Chelsea is without their desired defender.

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