The inquest into how David Luiz ended up in the stands sitting next to The Most Bored Man in the World — did Kenedy and David Luiz have matching outfits, too? — continues today, with a sensational claim from the Times duo of Matt Hughes and Gary Jacob that not only was David Luiz dropped from the matchday squad for this game, he was also banished entirely from first-team training on Friday. Ealier reports simply claimed that Christensen had been playing where David Luiz normally would have during training — and possibly with David Luiz being made to play ballboy!? — they made no mention of David Luiz not even being present and “taking no part in preparations” for the match against Manchester United!
The Times claim that after an “exchange” and a “stormy meeting” between coach and player on Thursday, over not only the poor performance on Tuesday against Roma (for which David Luiz apparently felt unfairly singled out) but also for the public questioning of Conte’s authority the fortnight before during the 3-3 draw against the same opposition, the 30-year-old was “banished” from Friday’s training. On Saturday, David Luiz was back but only for a light fitness session. And since he wasn’t going to play on Sunday, he also completed a training session with the youth/reserves prior to the match itself.
It should be noted that the report makes no mention of David Luiz doing anything other complying with these orders (private reservations aside) — he even skipped his customary chat with ESPN Brasil — and they would also fit the pattern of a lightly injured player, which was reported by at least one source before Sunday’s game as well.
The narrative is however strongly trending towards there being an actual issue that needs to be resolved between Conte and the defender he’s always built up as one of the best in the world.