David Luiz’s brief spell at Arsenal could be coming to an end with the Brazilian defender out of contract next month and no talks over a new deal planned.
Luiz was an £8m Deadline Day signing from London rivals Chelsea last August, replacing the club captain Laurent Koscielny, who signed for Bordeaux the previous day.
It was widely reported Luiz arrived in London on a two-year deal, but the agreement was just for an initial 12-month stay, according to Sky Sports news.
After last summer’s significant investment in the first-team, including the record signing of Nicolas Pepe, the gunners are expected to restrict spending. A lack of Champions League income and the global coronavirus crisis are also factors.
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Mikel Arteta has repeatedly sung Luiz’s praises since taking over from Unai Emery as manager in December and is understood to be desperate to keep him, as is Arsenal’s technical director Edu.
David Luiz is also interested in staying at the Emirates and has told friends he wants to remain at the club.
He has benefitted from Arteta’s appointment; despite having seven centre-backs to choose from, the Spaniard has picked Luiz for 14 of the 15 matches he’s managed.
However, this month the former Chelsea player gave a clue to where his future may lie, telling Brazilian television network SporTV: “I always said that I would like to end my career at Benfica.
“I love Benfica. My dream is to step on the pitch of Estadio da Luz in their colours.”
David Luiz played for the Portuguese side between 2007 and 2011 before moving to Stamford Bridge in a reported €25m deal with Nemanja Matic joining Benfica.
Premier League teams are allowed to enter into short-term contract renewals with players whose current contracts expire on June 30.
There was major concern about the status of players whose deals elapsed at the end of June, with the campaign set to extend into August due to the coronavirus crisis.
However, a Premier League statement this month read: “It was agreed by all shareholders that clubs and players can mutually agree to extend their contracts beyond June 30 until the end of the season.”
Premier League clubs and players have until June 23 to agree to contract extensions.
Arsenal’s summer could be an interesting one. Arteta has only been in charge of 15 matches – not a great deal of time to assess his team. What is clear, though, is Arsenal will have a limited transfer budget just like other teams.