Pep Guardiola is determined to sign Chelsea defender David Luiz this summer and will offer Jose Mourinho £40m for the Brazilian, according to The Sun. The report claims the former Barcelona boss has been tracking Luiz since his time at the Nou Camp and believes the 26-year-old is key to solving defensive problems at the Allianz Arena.
The Bundesliga and European champions will face competition for Luiz's signature though, with Guardiola's former club retaining an interest in the player. Goal.com says the Spanish champions will bid £25m for Luiz as new manager Gerardo Martino is keen on strengthening his central defensive options.
An earlier report by The Sun also linked Ligue 1 champions Paris St Germain to the player. However, with the Parc des Princes side having spent €35m on 19-year-old Brazilian Marquinhos, signing him from Serie A club AS Roma, it is unclear if Laurent Blanc will pursue Luiz.
An earlier report by the Mail Online suggested Barcelona's arch-rivals, Real Madrid, were also interested in Luiz, given Santiago Bernabeu officials could lose Portugal international Pepe to Manchester City.
Meanwhile, Guardiola's continued tracking of Luiz could be explained by a surprisingly poor defensive performance in the German Super Cup this weekend. The champions were hammered 4-2 by Borussia Dortmund, in the Catalan's first competitive game in charge.
Belgian international Daniel van Buyten conceded an own goal and the 35-year-old had a poor game overall. The veteran was a key part of the side last season but is unlikely to repeat those heroics this campaign, or at least for the whole year.
And Luiz could be Guardiola's response to replacing Buyten, indicating he has perhaps learnt his lesson from his Barcelona days, when he continued to rely on an increasingly injury-prone Carlos Puyol to lead his back four.
For his part, Chelsea boss José Mourinho has moved to deny reports that Luiz will leave Stamford Bridge and the player himself has committed himself to the west London side, saying: "I do not like the rumours about me and the possible departure. I have a contract with Chelsea until June 2017 and do not want to talk to other clubs."