David Luiz confirms transfer talks with former club as replacement deal eyed
David Luiz has confirmed that he is in talks with Benfica about a potential return to the club. The Brazilian started his career in Europe with the Portuguese outfit, when he joined them in 2007.
The 33-year-old spent nearly four seasons in Lisbon before completing a January switch to Chelsea in 2011.
After a spell at Paris Saint-Germain, David Luiz returned to Chelsea in 2016 before completing a controversial switch to London rivals Arsenal last summer.
At the time, it was reported that David Luiz had joined the Gunners on a two-year deal.
It has since been clarified that he signed a one-year contract with the option of an additional year.
Mikel Arteta is unlikely to trigger that option meaning Luiz will be free to leave when the transfer window opens.
The defender has now admitted that he is in talks with Benfica about a return to his former employers.
“I already spoke with Vieira about the return,” he told Record. “My dream is to end my career at Benfica.
“When, I don’t know, but it will happen… it will, if President Vieira allows me and if the fans want me to come back.
“It will be one of the most beautiful moments of my career.”
William Saliba will be part of the Gunners squad next season, after completing a year on loan at St-Etienne.
Arteta is believed to be eyeing a deal for Everton target Gabriel Magalhaes.
The Lille centre-back would cost £27million.
Arsenal are yet to confirm whether they will keep Luiz or let him leave the club.
French pundit Julien Laurens thinks the north London club should keep Luiz, regardless of his unconvincing performances.
“I don’t think so, I think they should keep him,” Laurens told ESPN FC.
“I know he sometimes makes mistakes, and he’ll make more mistakes, I can tell you that now.
“I think he’s been very important in the dressing room.
“You don’t have to keep him playing every minute of every game.
“You’ve got Saliba coming in from St.Etienne, who I think will be amazing. You’ve also got a lot of other centre-backs.
“I think you can look at selling [Rob] Holding, [Shkodran] Mustafi and others, but keeping Luiz would be a good idea for the influence he had on the younger players.
“For the harmony of the dressing room, he’s been really useful for that as well.
“Maybe you go to three at the back and play him as a sweeper… you don’t have to keep starting him, but I’d keep him around for sure.”