Arsenal defender David Luiz has expressed that he is keen to move back to his former club Benfica before he retires from football.
The centre-back joined the Portuguese club in 2007 and spent four years playing at the Estádio da Luz, before moving to Chelsea for €25m. Now at their London rivals Arsenal, he has started 35 games this season and has been a regular under manager Mikel Arteta.
But with his current deal expiring in 2021, the Brazilian has yet to sign a contract extension that would keep him at the Emirates Stadium, and his recent comments to Benfica's official website suggest that a departure back to Portugal could be on the cards in the near-future.
Luiz said: “I always said that I would like to end my career at Benfica. In football everything changes, what is true today, tomorrow is a lie, but my feeling is not!
“I love Benfica. My dream is to step on the pitch of Estadio da Light in their colours. For all that I lived and felt, for what Benfica is in my life and in my history, for everything, Benfica is bigger than any player.”
This isn't the first time that the 33-year-old has spoke of his desire to re-join As Águias this year. In April, he told SporTV (via Metro): "I never lost my connection with Benfica, I have that in my heart, everybody knows I want to come back.
"I want to wear the Benfica shirt again and feel that sensation. The day I come back to the Estádio da Luz it is going to be very special, one of the greatest feelings of my life."
The Brazilian's potential departure could force Arsenal into making a replacement a high priority for the upcoming transfer window, given the lack of options in the position who can perform consistently well at the back. Despite the looming addition of 19-year-old William Saliba to his squad, Arteta will certainly look to strengthen further.
Still, the veteran has been praised by the Spaniard during this season for his experience and leadership qualities. Speaking in January (via the Daily Star), he said: "He [Luiz] is a player that has won more trophies than anybody else in that dressing room.
“I am very pleased with him. In the games he has played under me so far he has been terrific.
His attitude in training, the way he communicates with his team-mates, his desire to still learn, it’s superb. I am delighted with him."
Source : 90min