David Luiz
Barcelona wanted Luiz before he joined PSG, player claimsGetty

David Luiz has claimed Barcelona were keen to sign him from Chelsea in the summer but he was eventually won over by Paris Saint-Germain because they wanted him more.

Brazil international Luiz left Stamford Bridge for the Ligue 1 champions in a deal reportedly worth €50m (£39m) before the World Cup.

While he failed to convince a string of managers in west London he was capable of operating at centre half, the 26-year-old was linked with moves to a number of Europe's elite clubs before settling on PSG.

Barcelona's well-documented search for defensive reinforcements almost saw Luiz opt for the Nou Camp until he chose PSG, according to the defender, a decision that was made easy due to the French club's persistence.

"It is true that Barcelona were in touch a few times and things were looking good," Luiz was quoted as saying by AS.

"But in the end I realised that PSG were the club that wanted me more and they eventually signed me."

After failing in their pursuit of Luiz, Barcelona's defensive recruitment drive saw them add Jeremy Mathieu and Thomas Vermaelen at centre half. While the former Arsenal skipper is still waiting for his full debut, the Frenchman's involvement and the reorganisation overseen by Barcelona boss Luis Enrique has seen the club keep clean sheets in their opening six league games this term.

Those improvements will be tested when the Catalans take on Luiz's PSG in their Champions League group clash at Parc de Princes on Tuesday evening.

Barcelona's cause will be helped by the news that Zlatan Ibrahimovic will not play against his former club. The Swede has missed PSG's last two outings against Caen and Toulouse with a heel injury and has failed to recover in time for Tuesday's meeting in the French capital.

PSG were held to a 1-1 draw by another of Ibrahimovic's former clubs Ajax in their opening group game while Barcelona could only muster a 1-0 win over minnows Apoel Nicosia.