Arsenal not part of David Luiz’s retirement plan as he approaches final year of contract

David Luiz is already opening an exit door at Arsenal, as he approaches the final 12 months of his contract, with the Brazilian admitting that he hopes to retire on the books at Benfica.

The Portuguese giants were the club to bring an enigmatic defender to Europe in 2007.

Having initially been taken on loan from Vitoria, a permanent transfer was soon put in place.

With his ball-playing ability showcased in Lisbon, Chelsea moved to snap up Luiz for the first time in January 2011.

Serious success has been enjoyed since then, across two spells at Stamford Bridge and one at Paris Saint-Germain, with league title successes savoured in England and France along with Champions League and Europa League triumphs.

Luiz is now looking to help get Arsenal back on the trophy trail, having linked up with the Gunners in the summer of 2019.

He is fully committed to that cause, with a two-year deal penned, but is also looking to the future at 33 years of age.

The South American is prepared to admit that he wants to head back to Estadio da Luz at some stage, with his ambition being to hang up his boots in Portugal.

Luiz told Benfica’s official website: “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!

David Luiz Benfica

“I love Benfica. My dream is to step on the pitch of Estadio da Luz 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.”

It remains to be seen when Luiz will look to tread that path, with Arsenal eager for him to put his vast experience to good use at Emirates Stadium in the present.

Gunners boss Mikel Arteta stated upon taking the reins in north London that he is looking for a proven winner to provide leadership and inspiration to those around him.

Arteta said: “That’s what I wanted to demand of him. He is a player that has won more trophies than anybody else in that dressing room.

“We have to use that in a very powerful way. 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.”