Cash-strapped Arsenal spent an eye-watering sum of money to sign David Luiz from Chelsea last summer.
The 33-year-old penned a one-year deal after he was deemed surplus to requirements by Frank Lampard and moved to the Blues’ London rivals on transfer deadline day.
Arsenal are currently weighing up whether or not to offer their most senior player a 12-month extension and although Mikel Arteta is keen to retain Luiz’s services, the Brazil international’s future remains in the balance.
The Arsenal hierarchy are still to make significant breakthroughs in negotiations over new deals for captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and this season’s breakthrough star Bukayo Saka.
It will represent an enormous source of frustration for Arsenal fans, therefore, to learn that, according to The Athletic, the total cost of Luiz’s move from Stamford Bridge to the Emirates Stadium could ultimately represent an eye-watering £24million.
According to the report, the total sum breaks down as £8m on the initial transfer fee, £6m to intermediaries and £10m on Luiz’s annual salary.
Arsenal dispensed with their former head of recruitment Sven Mislintat 18 months ago, the man who played a key role in bringing the likes of Bernd Leno, Lucas Torreira and Aubameyang to the club, in favour of handing head of football Raul Sanllehi more of a say in the club’s transfer policy.
The former Barcelona chief was joined in the summer by new technical director Edu and the pair, who share a close relationship with Luiz’s agent Kia Joorabchian, drove the deal to sign a replacement for Laurent Koscielny.
Arsenal were placed in a difficult position when their former captain left in acrimonious circumstances but, despite his recent improvement under Arteta, Luiz has been far from an unqualified success.
Luiz has spoken effusively and extensively about Arteta in glowing terms since his appointment, but has made no secret of his desire to return to Benfica, the club at which he launched his European career.
He told Record earlier this week: ‘I have already spoken with (Luiz Filipe) Vieira. It will happen if the President permits it and fans want me back.
‘To be able to wear that jersey again and enter the stadium is worth more than many trophies. Benfica doesn’t deserve me to come back without helping.’
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