RAFA BENITEZ is reportedly preparing an audacious attempt to try and bring Chelsea outcast David Luiz to Newcastle United on loan.
The Brazilian defender is currently out of favour with the Blues after a fall-out with boss Antonio Conte.
And his former Stamford Bridge manager is looking to offer him an escape route next month, according to the Shields Gazette.
The Magpies will face plenty of stiff competition from a host of Europe’s big guns for the 30-year-old, including Prem rivals Arsenal.
Real Madrid and Juventus are both monitoring the former Paris Saint-Germain star’s situation too.
Barcelona have also allegedly joined the race for his services too, reports Mundo Deportivo.
However, Benitez forged a close friendship with Luiz during his brief stint in West London and hopes that could help persuade him to join Newcastle’s relegation fight.
The centre-half, who can also play in midfield, has been sidelined with a “big inflammation” in his knee, says Conte.
But speculation is mounting that the bust-up between the Italian and Luiz has seen their relationship completely deteriorate.
That has allowed youngster Andreas Christensen to break into the starting XI in his absence.
And the Danish international has made the most of his opportunity.
Conte did little to stop rumours of Luiz’s exit mounting when he was recently quizzed on the ace’s future, saying: “I don’t know.
“Andreas Christensen is the present and the future for Chelsea.”
The champions originally signed Luiz from Benfica back in 2011 before he was firstly sold to PSG three years later.
But Conte made a shock move last year to bring him back to the capital on the final day of the summer transfer window.
Luiz, known for his flamboyance at the back, won huge acclaim following his return as he helped inspire the Blues to an impressive run of clean sheets as they romped to the title.