David Luiz looks set to leave Arsenal on a free transfer in the summer.
The defender only signed a one-year contract when he joined from London rivals Chelsea in 2019 – not a two-year deal as was widely reported – and Sky Sports say that he’s not been offered an extension.
Mikel Arteta has praised Luiz’s influence on the team since his arrival as manager and wants him to stay.
But Sky claims the 33-year-old is now heading for the exit door, as Arsenal chiefs look to cut costs amid the coronavirus pandemic and the likely lack of Champions League football.
A return to Benfica could be on the cards for Luiz, who recently told television network SporTV in his homeland: “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.”
As well as David Luiz, a number of other defenders could be on the way out of Arsenal.
According to David Ornstein – a very reliable source on all things Arsenal – the club could well put Rob Holding, Shkodran Mustafi and Sokratis Papastathopoulos up for sale.
Speaking on The Ornstein and Chapman Podcast, he said: “Arsenal have a vast number of central defenders and presumably they’ll need to get rid of some this summer.
“We know that some of them, including Rob Holding, Sokratis and maybe Shkodran Mustafi as well, Arsenal will listen to offers for.”
Holding took to Instagram after Ornstein’s comments where he posted a cryptic message.
Uploading a picture of him training, the England Under-21 international wrote: “Focus your energy on what you can control.”
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Focus your energy on what you can control
He arrived at Arsenal in the summer of 2016, as did Mustafi but things haven’t worked out for the pair.
Holding was in good form last season before a cruciate ligament injury stunted his progress.
Mustafi’s time at the Emirates Stadium has been a disaster, with his faulty displays in Arsenal colours leading to him being subject to huge ridicule among fans.
Sokratis joined the Gunners from Borussia Dortmund in July 2018.