Spanish champions Barcelona have drawn up a list of central defensive targets for this summer and Chelsea's David Luiz features high on that piece of paper, according to Mundo Deportivo. The Spanish sports Web site believes the Brazilian international joins his compatriot Thiago Silva as the Catalan club's preferred signings.
However, Tito Vilanova is reportedly aware that signing either of the two South Americans will prove to be a costly affair.
Silva signed for Ligue 1 champions Paris St Germain (PSG) last summer, in a €42m deal. And given the 28-year-old has established himself as a key player at the Parc des Princes and still has four years left on his contract, PSG will demand an exorbitant transfer fee, even if they were to consider selling him.
Luiz, meanwhile, will be no less an expensive proposition. The 26-year-old Chelsea star took his time to settle into life at Stamford Bridge but superb all-round performances, operating from both a defensive midfield position and a more conventional centre-back role, towards the end of this season have seen his stock grow.
The former Benfica player established himself as a key member of the first team under former manager Rafael Benitez and it was the ex-Liverpool boss who settled Luiz into that defensive midfield role. There is speculation the player could follow Benitez to the Serie A, after it was confirmed the latter has taken charge of Napoli.
The Express believes Benitez is serious about bringing the Brazilian to Naples but has been told by his new club they cannot afford the transfer fee. Chelsea value Luiz in excess of £30m and Benitez would have to authorise the £52m sale of Uruguayan striker Edinson Cavani - a target for Chelsea according to ESPN - to raise necessary funds.
Barcelona have already been linked to Luiz once before, with the Mail Online speculating the Nou Camp side would launch a £40m bid for the player.
The expensive price tag aside, what could work in the Catalans' favour is rumoured incoming boss José Mourinho. The Real Madrid manager is set to leave the Santiago Bernabeu after the end of the present Spanish season and return to west London. And the Special One is believed to be open to the idea of releasing Luiz, as he looks to revamp the first team.
Meanwhile, Mundo Deportivo believes a third option is closer to home - Real Sociedad's Iñigo Martínez. The 22-year-old has had an excellent season with the Basque club and remains in the running for a Champions League place next season. He does, however, have a €30m release clause and a contract till 2017. Marca believes Barcelona will face competition from Real Madrid as well.