Arsenal stalwart David Luiz has again dropped a big hint that he is open to an exit as he eyes a return to former club Benfica in what could be a blow for Mikel Arteta.
The 33-year-old has been a pivotal figure so far this season for the Gunners, making 32 appearances across all competitions while establishing himself as a permanent fixture in the side since Arteta took charge.
His experience and quality has helped lead to an improvement at Arsenal since the start of the year, as they remain in the hunt for the FA Cup and will have not yet given up hope of a top-four finish in the Premier League.
However, they will perhaps be less than impressed with Luiz’s latest comments in the media, as he has again hinted at a desire to return to former club Benfica while it’s added in the report that Arsenal have yet to begin talks over activating a clause to extend his current deal for another year.
“I have already spoken with (Luiz Filipe) Vieira,” he is quoted as saying by the Metro. “It will happen if the President permits it and fans want me back.
“To be able to wear that jersey again and enter the stadium is worth more than many trophies. Benfica doesn’t deserve me to come back without helping.”
The fact that he has already spoken to Benfica club president Vieira is surely not going to reflect well on him, and so now it remains to be seen if Arteta and Arsenal decide to move him on and look elsewhere for long-term defensive solutions although Luiz hasn’t suggested a return is an immediate option in his plans.
They’ll welcome William Saliba back this summer while Pablo Mari could be signed outright, and the likes of Rob Holding and Calum Chambers will hope to have a chance to impress moving forward despite recent speculation also linking the former with an exit.
Shkodran Mustafi and Sokratis are also on that list of players Arsenal might be willing to listen to offers for, but Luiz was not. Thus suggesting that any exit could be a blow for Arteta given how he’s used him to this point.
As for Luiz though, time will tell if he departs this summer and if a move back to Benfica materialises having seemingly already moved to put a switch in motion.
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