Benfica cannot afford to pay David Luiz’s ‘unthinkable’ wages with president Luis Felipe Vieira admitting to Record that a return to the Estadio da Luz is unlikely for the Arsenal veteran this summer.
An experienced Brazil international has certainly dominated the back pages of late.
Goal claimed late last week that a man who only moved to the Emirates less than 12 months ago was set to be released when his contract expires at the end of the season. His £125,000-a-week pay-packet, it was claimed, was far too expensive for a Gunners side who are under pressure to cut costs.
And with Luiz making it clear that he would love to pull on that deep red shirt of Benfica again before he hangs up his boots, speculation has raged around a man who represented the Lisbon giants with pride from 2007 to 2011.
But Benfica supporters everywhere should think twice about flocking to Portela Airport, with Vieira deciding against fanning the flames of a transfer rumour which threatens to spiral out of control.
“I spoke to him again yesterday. We have a father-to-son relationship,” he says, suggesting that Luiz will instead sign fresh terms with the Gunners.
“(Luiz) was in the car with his agent, preparing to renew his contract with Arsenal. He is someone who loves Benfica, but there is something else he is: he is a great professional and has to earn money.
“What he earns (at Arsenal) is unthinkable for Benfica to pay. If David Luiz comes to a day when he says ‘I want to leave here’, if he is 35 years old, in perfect condition, we will take David Luiz of course.
“As a father, I would say ‘No, David, you’re not coming, don’t be crazy. You have to make money!’. If he came today, he would have to come under these conditions, otherwise, he could not come.”
Kia Joorabchian, Luiz’s all-powerful agent, told Jim White on talkSPORT yesterday that any reports suggesting a departure was imminent were a little wide of the mark with the ex-Chelsea defender set to extend his stay in north London.