David Luiz opens talks with Benfica

Tanya Simon
May 31, 2020

Arsenal defender David Luiz must take a pay cut of £38,000-a-week if he is to return to Benfica.

Arsenal have an option to extend Luiz's deal by a further year but have yet to decide whether to activate it. "Benfica doesn't deserve me to come back without helping".

After moving to Paris Saint-Germain and then returning to Chelsea, Luiz made a surprise switch to Arsenal previous year.

Luiz's exit is set to be part of a defensive overhaul at the Emirates Stadium, with Rob Holding, Shkodran Mustafi and Sokratis Papastathopoulos all deemed expendable by Arteta.

"I have already spoken with Benfica president, Vieira, about the return", Luiz told Record in Portugal.

"Is he a proper defender?"

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"It's the most crucial area which he [Mikel Arteta] has to get right".

David Luiz was keen to stay in London when he left Chelsea and would move as a free agent if no deal is agreed.

"You go to a football club, you have to make your mark and if it doesn't happen you have to hold your hands up".

"I know Arsenal are really excited about the prospect of Saliba coming in who will be joining next season". I think both players will have to do that.

Whilst Luiz has been prone to his textbook errors at times for Arsenal this season the 33-year-old has also become a key member of Mikel Arteta's backline.

Pablo Mari's loan deal from Flamengo is likely to be turned into a permanent switch this summer, while William Saliba has returned from his loan deal at Saint-Etienne after the Ligue 1 season was curtailed.

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