According to Simon Johnson of the Evening Standard, Chelsea are “planning to” offer David Luiz a new one-year contract.
The 31-year-old’s current deal, signed three years ago after rejoining from PSG, expires at the end of the season. As he’s over the age of 30 now, he’s unlikely to be offered anything more than the one-year extension, as per (unwritten?) club policy — Giroud got 18 months in January, which may or may not be considered an exception.
While Johnson’s tweet positions the impending offer as a financially motivated one — “ensure he doesn’t leave on a free” — it’s much more likely that the offer is a result of his resurgence and importance to the way Maurizio Sarri wants the team to play.
If Chelsea had wanted to cash in (or cut losses) on David Luiz, there was plenty of opportunity to do so this summer. But David was happy to stay (especially with Conte leaving), and now he’s playing for a head coach with whom he shares not only a philosophy of football but a philosophy for life as well. It’s easy to see that relationship continuing beyond just this season.
“In the first week I spoke with him (Sarri). I said to him that ‘I am going to work hard to show you I want to play in your team, with your philosophy. I had two offers from different clubs but I told Chelsea I wanted to stay. Would I have gone if Conte stayed? For sure.
“But they changed for Sarri and I have tried to convince Sarri I want to stay at Chelsea. I am playing now and enjoying it. I didn’t play (for most of) the last six months (under Conte). Sarri is human, he wants us to take pleasure in playing football. He said every day we have to enjoy it.”
David Luiz; source: BT Sport via The Evening Standard
Chelsea were in the market for a centre back last summer, and with Gary Cahill (aging and perhaps not the best fit for Sarrismo) and Andreas Christensen (still error-prone) the backups, it makes sense that we’ll have the proverbial shopping basket in hand next summer too.
But whether he’s a starter or transitions to being a backup, it looks like David Luiz and Sarri have a good thing going. And Chelsea want to keep it on track for at least one more season.