Transfers

Ex-Arsenal defender David Luiz in talks over Benfica return

27/08/2021
Transfers
Benfica
Primeira Liga
Premier League
Arsenal
The Brazilian has been a free agent since leaving Emirates Stadium in June, but is now set to head back to Estadio Da Luz for a second spell
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Former Arsenal defender David Luiz is in talks with Benfica over a return to the club, Goal can confirm.

Luiz became a free agent after his last contract at Arsenal expired on June 30, ending his two-year stint at Emirates Stadium.

The 34-year-old could now be set to head back to Benfica, where he previously played between 2007 and 2011, with the club's current head coach Jorge Jesus having already approved the move.

What's the situation?

Goal understands Benfica are ready to offer Luiz a one-year contract, and he is open to another spell at Estadio Da Luz.

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The Brazilian has also been strongly linked with Flamengo, but he would prefer to remain in Europe and play Champions League football again.

Benfica have just qualified for continental competition via the playoffs, and feel Luiz has the experience to help them make a strong impact in the group stage and mount a strong challenge for the Primeira Liga title in Portugal.

Are there any potential hurdles to overcome?

Goal has learned the only issue that could end up threatening the deal is Luiz's desire to commit to a longer-term contract, with Benfica officials concerned that a combination of his age and recent injury problems could prevent him from playing week in, week out.

However, negotiations between the two parties over the free transfer are progressing at a steady rate, and Jesus could welcome the centre-back into his ranks before the summer deadline on August 31.

Luiz's career journey

Luiz began his career at Vitoria in 2006 before joining Benfica a year later, and went on to appear in 130 games in all competitions for the club, helping them win the 2009-10 Primeira Liga crown.

The Brazil international was then snapped up by Chelsea, where he added a Champions League winners' medal to his CV before joining Paris Saint-Germain in 2014.

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Luiz spent two years at Parc des Princes, playing a key role in their emergence as a major European force, but returned to Chelsea in 2016 under Antonio Conte, lifting the Premier League title in his first season back at Stamford Bridge.

Arsenal then signed Luiz on a free transfer in 2019 and went on to appear in 73 matches for the Gunners, who he led to FA Cup glory in his debut campaign, but wasn't offered a new deal this summer after falling out of favour with Mikel Arteta.

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