David Luiz
David Luiz has been a subject of interest for Barcelona since the winter transfer window. Reuters

Barcelona are reportedly preparing a £25m bid for Chelsea defender David Luiz in the summer, according to the Metro.

The report states that Barcelona have the Brazilian international on top of their signings list in the summer and are aiming to seal the deal before the World Cup commences in June.

The reigning Spanish champions have faced a severe shortage at the centre of defence with injuries to Gerard Pique and Carles Puyol, leaving Gerardo Martino with only one other recognised central defender in Marc Bartra.

Javier Mascherano has adapted into a centre-back role at Nou Camp while midfielder Sergio Busquets too has been versatile in playing as a defender.

Puyol has been unable to feature for most of this campaign due to a persistent knee problem, which has seen him make only five appearances in La Liga. The 36-year-old has also announced his decision to leave the Nou Camp in the summer, forcing his current employers to look for potential replacements for the veteran defender.

The Catalan giants were barred from conducting any transfers during the two upcoming transfer windows after being found guilty of breaching rules on international transfer of foreign under-18 players. However, the ban has been temporarily suspended following the club's decision to appeal Fifa's sanctioned punishment.

The Metro's report also suggests that Luiz's agent in Spain is expected to negotiate an agreement in the coming days in order to facilitate the swift completion of the deal.

Luiz has struggled to break the partnership of skipper John Terry or his compatriot Gary Cahill at the heart of defence.

However, the 27-year-old has made 18 appearances in the Premier League where he has also been deployed in a makeshift defensive midfield role.

The former Benfica star's future at Stamford Bridge has also come under the radar after the west London club acquired the signature of Kurt Zouma from St Etienne.

The youngster who remains on loan with the Ligue 1 outfit until the end of the season will move to London in the summer.

Barcelona were reportedly in pursuit of Luiz during the January transfer window. But the Blues' manager Jose Mourinho had quashed the rumours, making it clear that he is not interested in selling his player.