- Premier League
Signing Luiz 'almost impossible' for Barcelona
Dani Alves has suggested that it will be "almost impossible" for Barcelona to sign David Luiz because of Jose Mourinho's unwillingness to sell a player to the Catalan club.
Barca continue to be heavily linked with a move for Brazil centre-back, with Mundo Deportivo reporting on Monday morning that the blaugrana outfit, who had a €25 million bid rejected by Chelsea last week, were set to make a final €35 million offer in the coming days.
Mourinho has meanwhile insisted Barca are "wasting their time" by chasing Luiz, who played alongside Alves as Brazil won last June's Confederations Cup on home soil.
The former Sevilla right-back told the Catalan paper that, even if his international colleague was keen to move to the Camp Nou, the former Real Madrid boss was likely to thwart anything that would make Barca stronger.
Week in Pictures: August 5 to August 12
- Take a look at the best pictures of the last seven days from around the world of sport in our Week in Pictures.
- Click here for more
"I always want the best for my friends and I tell them to come here if they can," Alves said. "As well as that, he is a great player. The problem is not whether he wants to come, but that in the end you have to get away from Mourinho -- and that is not going to be easy.
"The idea of facilitating David Luiz coming to Barca would not pass through his head, and even less if it is to strengthen us. It is more than difficult for us, almost impossible."
Should Mourinho succeed and Luiz remain at Stamford Bridge, Barcelona sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta and new coach Gerardo Martino are then likely to move down their list -- with Daniel Agger [Liverpool], Jan Vertonghen [Tottenham], Jeremy Mathieu [Valencia] and Inigo Martinez [Real Sociedad] all reportedly options to join a defensive set-up which most pundits feel needs strengthening.
However, after Barcelona's 3-1 victory over a Malaysia XI on Saturday in Kuala Lumpur, Gerard Pique told reporters keen to get his views on the speculation that the club did not necessarily need to buy.
"That's the work of the sporting director," Pique told Barca's official website. "The players who are here now are good enough to defend the team throughout the season."
Pique had been named man of the match when scoring the third goal in the game, which was played at the Shah Alam Stadium after Barca's players reportedly complained about the state of the pitch at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium, where it had been due to take place.
Cesc Fabregas opened the scoring with a header, but was then forced off with an ankle injury which sees him miss Spain's friendly in Ecuador on Wednesday. Neymar also got on the scoresheet, by ghosting past a defender inside the area and finishing coolly.