EXCLUSIVE: Guardiola pulls out of the race for Luiz leaving Barcelona favourites for Brazilian's signature
Barcelona have been given a clear run on David Luiz after Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola admitted he had pulled out of the race to sign the £40million-rated Chelsea defender.
After monitoring Luiz’s form for Brazil in the recent Confederations Cup, it was widely believed Guardiola would follow up his long-standing interest in the centre-back with an official approach to Chelsea counterpart Jose Mourinho.
But Sportsmail understands the former Barcelona coach concluded Luiz was no better than the central defenders already at the Allianz Arena and that no further additions were needed to his squad, following the arrival of Manchester United target Thiago Alcantara from the Nou Camp.
Luiz is back in training at Chelsea at returning from the Confederations Cup
Guardiola admitted he would not be pursuing Luiz and appeared to confirm it was because the 26-year old had fallen short of expectations, as he said: ‘It is not true (that I will be signing Luiz). I have four or five central defenders already and don’t need another one.’
Luiz could still be heading out of Stamford Bridge, though, after new Barcelona coach Gerardo Martino met sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta to discuss transfer plans and presented him with a five-man list of defensive targets.
Luiz figures prominently in Martino’s thoughts, along with, Arsenal’s Thomas Vermaelen, Tottenham’s Jan Vertonghen, Liverpool’s Daniel Agger and Manchester City skipper Vincent Kompany.
Spanish interests: Barcelona boss Gerardo Martino may still approach Chelsea with an offer
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