Chelsea has reportedly rejected a £17.6million offer from Arsenal for Brazilian defender David Luiz.
Luiz has made almost 200 appearances for Chelsea over two stints at Stamford Bridge but endured a frustrating campaign during the 2017-18 season.
The 31-year-old started as Antonio Conte’s first-choice center-back but the situation changed after Chelsea were thrashed 3-0 by Roma in the Champions League.
Conte was said to be furious with Luiz’s display in Rome and the defender dropped out of the team as the impressive Andreas Christensen cemented a place in the side.
Luiz struggled with persistent injury problems after Christmas and featured in just five matches for Chelsea in 2018. He has been heavily linked with a move to Italy this summer but has also emerged as a surprise target for London rivals Arsenal.
According to Le10 Sport, the Gunners submitted an official offer for the Brazilian but saw their £17.6m approach knocked back by FA Cup holders Chelsea.
Arsenal is it claimed, are now considering whether to return with an improved bid as they look to secure defensive signings for new manager Unai Emery.
Luiz could still have a future at Stamford Bridge, however, particularly if Antonio Conte does indeed leave the club.
Conte was expected to be sacked following the FA Cup win over Manchester United but he remains in charge as the World Cup is set to begin.
Last month, former Brazil and Chelsea star Alex urged Luiz to stay at Chelsea beyond the summer. ‘Unfortunately, he did not start well this season,’ he told Goal.
‘I’m not sure what happened, probably a problem, so he lost his place in the starting line-up. ‘I’m very fond of him.
He’s a great friend, a great person. Could he leave? It’s difficult to talk, every day you may be surprised.
‘We do not know yet if the coach will continue. Sometimes a new coach arrives, and the player ends up receiving more opportunities.
‘David is an experienced player. For me, he should not leave, because Chelsea is an exceptional club. ‘‘I think he should stay and try one more time. For the quality he has, the player that he is, the opportunities will appear.’