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Mar 1, 2012

Luiz denies Lampard criticism

Chelsea defender David Luiz has denied publicly criticising team-mate Frank Lampard and saying he needed to listen to under-fire manager Andre Villas-Boas and follow his instructions.

• Chelsea blamed for Torres slump

Luiz, 24, was quoted by O Jogo newspaper as commenting on Lampard's widely-publicised problems with manager Andre Villas-Boas. But the Brazilian was adamant his words had been taken out of context and were not directed at Lampard individually but were more general in nature.

Claiming Luiz had criticised Lampard, O Jogo quoted him as saying: ''No one has to be someone's father or son in a football club. There are no privileged people there. He simply has to listen to the coach when he gives orders and take them. No player can forget that they are just an employee of the club.''

But Luiz tweeted on Thursday: ''This is media, Frank know me, and I never said about him! I said generaly! I only talked about coaches and players in general. Always CFC.''

Any perceived criticism of Lampard by Luiz would increase speculation about a split in the Chelsea dressing room between the Portuguese-speaking contingent - all of whom are reportedly 100% behind Villas-Boas - and some of their more senior team-mates.

And indeed, Luiz claimed Villas-Boas had been unfairly castigated in the same interview, despite Chelsea being fifth in the Premier League and in danger of Champions League and FA Cup elimination.

''Last season, there were teams who were in a poor position in the table, and no one talked about it,'' Luiz said. ''It is a lot easier to talk about Andre, because Chelsea are a big team who always fight for the first place.

''And when they are third or fourth, it gets easy to slam the coach. But Andre has an immense capacity, he is an excellent person and I am sure he will have a great future at Chelsea.''

Luiz, who has had an up-and-down year since moving to Stamford Bridge from Benfica, also played down talk he was a target for Barcelona. Reports suggest Barca will turn to Luiz if they are unable to secure AC Milan's Thiago Silva this summer.

Luiz told Spanish newspaper Sport: ''I would be lying if I said I know nothing. I am aware, not least because for months there have been constant rumours about Barca's interest.

''What I can confirm is that I have not negotiated anything and no one has submitted a concrete offer. I am 100% a Chelsea player.

''Barca are a great team that play fantastic football. Every player would love to play for Barcelona, but I am with Chelsea and I have an obligation to my club.''

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