Chelsea news

Benfica confirm Luiz offer

January 27, 2011
By ESPNsoccernet staff

Benfica have confirmed that they have received an offer from Premier League champions Chelsea for Brazil defender David Luiz.

David Luiz Benfica
GettyImagesDavid Luiz's commanding displays helped Benfica to the Portuguese title last season

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"A negotiation process is currently ongoing and the market will be informed when it is completed," Benfica said in a statement.

The deal appeared to have stalled earlier this week with the Portuguese club demanding £25 million for Luiz and Chelsea only willing to offer £21.5 million, plus one of the club's young players.

The deal is not yet done, with Benfica holding out for the full amount for a player they have under contract until 2015 and who is one of the most promising defenders in Europe.

Chelsea booked a work permit application for the 23-year-old for Wednesday in anticipation of completing the drawn out deal but Benfica then played Luiz for 90 minutes in a cup match with Rio Ave on Wednesday evening to send the a clear message to the Blues.

Following the Portuguese cup match Benfica manager Jorge Jesus fired another warning shot by claiming there are rival suitors showing an interest in signing the highly-rated defender.

"There are several clubs interested, but still nothing on the table," Jesus said. "He played normally without taking risks and played a great game."

However, Benfica's official statement seems to confirm the Chelsea are in pole position to sign Luiz, who was a key member of the side that clinched the Portuguese Premier League title last season.