David Luiz
David Luiz Reuters

Chelsea defender David Luiz remains Barcelona's first choice centre back target and the Blues will consider parting with the Brazilian should the Catalans match their £29m valuation, Spanish reports suggest.

The 26-year-old has struggled to convince Jose Mourinho that he deserves a regular place ahead of John Terry or Gary Cahill and although his importance in the team has grown lately he has started just nine Premier League games during the first part of the season.

With 35-year-old Carlos Puyol no longer at his best and Marc Bartra's future up in the air with his contract at Barcelona expiring at the end of the season, Spanish newspaper Marca claim that Barca are considering to strengthening the back line in the summer with Luiz still their preferred option.

Marca add that the Chelsea centre-back has been closely monitored by Barcelona since last year and that the club made a £20m bid to secure his services last summer. Chelsea turned down the offer but according to the reports Mourinho will be open to sell him next summer for around £29m.

According to Spanish reports, Luiz leads Barcelona's short-list of centre-backs that also includes Arsenal's Thomas Vermaelen, FC Porto's Eliaquim Mangala, and Real Sociedad's Iñigo Martínez.

Gerardo Martino's side have been strongly linked with a move to sign the ex-Benfica man for some years and recent reports claim that they were close to finally finalising a deal during this transfer window, as the club and the player had already reached an agreement.

However, Mourinho recently dismissed an offer from the Catalans and insisted that they will not sell him in January.

"The bid? It's wasted time for them," said Mourinho.

"My advice to them is to go to the second player on their list because they are wasting their time. We don't want to lose our best players. No chance."

Nevertheless, it is reported that Chelsea are monitoring Inter Milan's Andrea Ranocchia and Porto defender Mangala and the addition of a new centre-back may force Mourinho' to reconsider Luiz's future.