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Arsenal yet to open contract talks with Luiz, likely to sell Lacazette and Nketiah in the summer

Contrary to some reports in the media, Arsenal are yet to hold talks with David Luiz regarding a contract extension, according to Chris Wheatley of football.london.

The Brazilian defender signed a 12-month extension last summer and has less than six months remaining on his current deal. There have been rumours circulating that the former Chelsea defender is in talks with the club to sign another extension which would see him stay at the club for the 2021/22 campaign.

It is understood that while it is still possible that Luiz will stay at the club beyond the end of this season, no talks regarding the same have been held between the respective parties so far. 

Luiz has been a crucial part of Arsenal’s defence since Arteta took over as the club’s manager and has been an excellent mentor to a number of the Gunners’ young players. Arteta has praised the impact the Brazilian player has had in the dressing room and the positive influence he has been on the players who are rising up the ranks at the club. He said:

“He’s a great example for them (the youngsters). He’s got a good mixture with them between some banter and then some stick. They all listen to him because of who he is and what he’s done in the game. But also because how he behaves every day, how professional he is and how he goes about the job. He is one of the key role models that we have in our team.”

On a contract extension for Luiz, Arteta said:

“No, there are still a few months to go on that. I all the time talk to him about this kind of thing so we’re in a good position.”

“He showed his character first of all with the decision he made to join the club when he was with a club where he was winning trophies and he was still comfortable and under contract.”

“And he wanted a challenge. And at that age it tells you everything because normally at that age the challenge is not sporting but more a financial decision that you take to go to a different country.”

“But David loves this game so much and he wants to keep playing at the highest level in a very competitive league. This is the challenge that he’s enjoying at the moment.”

In the end of January, on being asked if he wanted Luiz to stay beyond the end of this season, Arteta said:

“What I want is for him to keep performing like this to the end of the season.”

Technical director Edu Gaspar has yet to hold talks with Luiz’s camp regarding a contract extension with much of the club’s focus on finishing the season strongly and securing European football for next season.  

It is believed that Luiz would only be given a contract extension in a player/coach capacity. He would have to be on board with the fact that he would have limited playing time as a result of the number of options the Gunners have in central defence. 

Gabriel, Rob Holding and Pablo Mari remain the first-choice centre-backs while William Saliba and Dinos Mavropanos will return to the club in the summer once their loan spells at Nice and Stuttgart respectively come to an end.

It is unclear if the former Paris Saint-Germain defender would be open to extending his time at the club through such an arrangement. Arteta has spoken of Luiz’s ambition to be a manager one day and his journey to become a coach could start in North London. He would continue to be an excellent influence on the promising pool of central defenders at the club.

The Gunners have already begun drawing up plans for the way they would like to develop their squad in the summer with a number of their existing players facing uncertainties over their future at the club. It is understood that Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah, who will both have one year remaining on their contracts in the summer, are likely to be sold by the club.

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