David Luiz forcing through shock Chelsea departure for London rivals

Date published: Wednesday 7th August 2019 6:20

Chelsea defender David Luiz is reportedly attempting to force through a deal to Arsenal.

Four of the Brazilian’s previous five transfers have gone through in the final two days of the transfer window, and he could be set for more deadline day drama.

Luiz, who featured in the Champions League win of 2012, rejoined the Blues from PSG in 2016 and was integral in their title win under Antonio Conte during his first season back.

But sudden and surprising reports in The Telegraph and a variety of outlets suggest that he could be set to depart the club for a second time, after he did not train with the Chelsea first team on Wednesday.

The suggestion is that the centre-half is actively attempting to force a move to Arsenal, who are in the market for a new central defender after a lack of depth in that area, exacerbated by the departure of club captain Laurent Koscielny to Bordeaux.

The Gunners have signed highly-rated young French defender William Saliba from Saint-Etienne, but have loaned him back and are still on the lookout for a defender to come straight into the backline this season.

Arsenal boss Unai Emery knows Luiz from their time together at PSG, although there wasn’t much overlap. The defender left during the same summer that the Spanish coach took over.

Luiz is said to be concerned about his first-team playing opportunities under his former team-mate Frank Lampard. He’s featured extensively in pre-season but was left out of the starting XI in the final friendly against Borussia Monchengladbach.

The new boss has been given a remit at Chelsea to develop the club’s highly-rated academy products, which could see Luiz fall down the pecking order behind Fikayo Tomori, who was named player of the season playing under Lampard at Derby County last season.

Kurt Zouma, back from Everton, is another player that could potentially provide competition for Luiz, should he remain.

The Blues have already lost Gary Cahill this summer and their transfer ban means they’re unable to bring in a replacement, but returning loanees Zouma and Tomori could potentially plug those gaps.

 

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