David Luiz picks club he wants to join as Blues hold talks

CHELSEA star David Luiz is plotting a return to Benfica, according to reports in Brazil.

Luiz has come in from the cold this season to play a key role under Maurizio Sarri.

The 31-year-old has started all-but-one of Chelsea’s Premier League fixtures this term.

And he is expected to line up on Saturday when Sarri’s side face Newcastle at Stamford Bridge.

There is uncertainty over where Luiz’s future lies with just six months to run on his contract.

However, Brazilian outlet Fox Sports indicate he is eyeing up a return to Benfica.

Luiz is said to have made rejoining the Lisbon giants a priority.

And he could now sign a pre-contract agreement with them as his Chelsea deal is running down.

Luiz is reported to see Champions League regulars Benfica as a major player in the modern game.

And that has come as a blow to Palmeiras, who want to take the defender back to his homeland.

Fox Sports claim Sao Paulo-based Palmeiras have held talks with Chelsea regarding Luiz.

And, while those discussions did not lead to transfer negotiations, it is clear they remain interested in him.

Luiz is believed to be a fan of Brazilian giants Corinthians, who are one of Palmeiras’ biggest rivals.

And that might prove a factor if he rejects Palmeiras should they make a formal approach.

Luiz has made 80 appearances in all competitions since returning to Chelsea in 2016.

And Maurizio Sarri has previously spoken of his eagerness for the Blues to hand him a new contract beyond the summer.

Regarding Luiz and newly-departed Cesc Fabregas, in December Sarri said: “David and Cesc are leaders.

“And so I think it’s very important for me, for the staff, also for their team-mates, if they stay with us.

“I spoke with the club about this one month ago. I know very well that it’s not easy, but I think that we can do a new deal for both.

“The club want a short contract and the players want a long contract. And so it’s difficult for this reason. I think at the end we can find a solution.

“They are very important players for us. It’s very difficult to find a centre-back for this level.

“And it’s very difficult to find a central midfielder technically like Fabregas. So I think they have to stay with us.”

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