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'I would love it' - Portugal legend Gomes wants Arsenal star Luiz back at Benfica

09:00 GMT 25/02/2021
David Luiz Arsenal
The Gunners defender is out of contract in the summer and has previously stated his desire to one day return to his former club

Benfica legend Nuno Gomes wants to see David Luiz return to the club before he retires.

Luiz spent four years with Benfica between 2007 and 2011 and has previously suggested he would like a second spell in Lisbon before calling time on his playing days.

And Gomes - who was a team-mate of the centre-back at the Estadio da Luz - says he would love to see the Brazilian back at the club.

What’s been said?

In an exclusive interview with Goal ahead of Arsenal’s Europa League clash with Benfica, Gomes spoke about the possibility of Luiz returning to the Portuguese giants.

He said: "Let's see what happens.

"I remember that when he left Benfica he was very well adapted to Portugal in terms of his career on the pitch and his social life off the pitch. He was like a Portuguese already in terms of his way of life and culture.

"He struggled a little bit to leave because he was doing very well and was very well settled here. But the offer that he received he couldn’t refuse.

"But he always said that one day he wanted to return. I don’t know if it will be possible or not, but I would love it to happen."

When was Luiz previously at Benfica?

The defender moved to Benfica from Brazilian side Vitoria in 2007, having initially arrived on a loan deal.

He went on to spend four years with the Portuguese side and made over 100 appearances, winning the Primeira Liga title once as well as three league cups

Luiz left Benfica in January 2011, joining Chelsea in a £21.5 million ($30m) deal.

What else did Gomes say?

Recalling what Luiz was like when he first joined Benfica, Gomes said: "When he arrived he was a very shy person, but then he developed a lot.

"He was very humble, he wanted to learn with his coaches, he wanted to learn with his older team-mates and I’m very proud that I can say I’m a very good friend of him and his family off the pitch because he’s an amazing person.

"He worked a lot to achieve and to become the player that he is.

"I believe that maybe one day he could return and end his career here in Benfica."

What has Luiz said about a return?

The 33-year-old confirmed in May 2020 that he had been in touch with Benfica president Luis Filipe Vieira over a potential move.

"I already spoke with Vieira about the return," Luiz told Portuguese publication 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."

What is Luiz's contract situation at Arsenal?

Luiz will become a free agent at the end of this season when his contract at Arsenal expires.

Gunners boss Mikel Arteta stated earlier this year that talks over possibly extending his stay would not start until the end of the current campaign.

"There are a lot of things happening around the club, a lot of decisions to make,” Arteta said when asked about a new contract for Luiz. "I don’t want to rush any decisions. I just want players to be focused.

"We cannot change all the contracts right now. I think it is time to be focused. We have been through a difficult period in the last few weeks and I just want people to focus on football.

"If you do what you have to do on the football pitch, you will deserve the chance to keep with us if this is what you want."

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