Out-of-favour Chelsea defender David Luiz looks set to stay with the Blues until at least the end of the season, despite reports linking the Brazilian with a number of potential suitors in recent weeks.
Premier League rivals Arsenal had been believed to be lining up a January move for the 30-year-old, whose relationship with Blues manager Antonio Conte has become increasingly strained this term. However, Gunners manager Arsene Wenger denied he was looking to swoop on the Brazil international, telling a press conference: “I don’t want to speak about any names, but these reports are wrong.”
Similarly, Conte was pressed on the issue in his weekly news conference, where he assured Chelsea fans that Luiz would almost certainly remain at the Bridge for the time being. He stated: “David improved a lot his physical condition in the last couple of days. He worked with us and I think he could be in contention for the Norwich game…
“My expectation is all the players we have in the squad will stay here and continue to work. Our squad is not big and for this reason, it’s impossible to send on loan or sell one player if we don’t sign another player.”
‘Desperate’ for first-team action ahead of World Cup
Luiz is reportedly desperate for regular first-team action ahead of Brazil’s World Cup campaign in Russia this summer, with Barcelona and Real Madrid both being linked with the 56-times-capped international over the past several months. However, according to updated reports earlier in the week, the fact that the defender is effectively cup-tied in the Champions League makes a move to either side increasingly unlikely before the end of the season.
With a move to one of Europe’s elite seemingly off the table and his current manager speaking of him in much more positive terms than before, Luiz may therefore take his chances and look to play himself back into contention for regular starts at Chelsea – for the time being, at least.
Header image by Ben Tavener [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons