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Chelsea to offer Luiz improved contract extension



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Chelsea want to give David Luiz a new contract to ensure he stays beyond the end of this season.
Luiz’s current deal expires at the end of the campaign, but Chelsea are planning to open talks over a one-year extension.
The Brazil international has reinvigorated his career at Stamford Bridge under new coach Maurizio Sarri and is a key figure in the dressing room once again.
He made just 16 starts under previous boss Antonio Conte last term and had a fractious relationship with the Italian.
But Luiz, who also missed a number of matches during 2017-18 with a knee injury, has been an integral part of the club’s good form in the League under Sarri, starting all seven games so far.
The need to keep Luiz has become all the more important due to veteran centre half Gary Cahill expressing his desire to leave in January.
Cahill wants more first team football and even if he has to wait until his contract expires in the summer to get his wish, Chelsea don’t want to lose two strong experienced leaders from the squad at the same time.
Sarri wanted to buy a younger centre back in the last transfer window and Chelsea missed out on his first choice target Daniele Rugani after the Serie A champions decided not to sell.
The Chelsea coach will make another attempt to add a younger defender either in January or next summer, especially with Cahill departing, but keeping Luiz is also a priority.
Chelsea have a policy in place that means players who are over 30 only get 12 month contract extensions. Luiz turns 32 in April.
But there is optimism that Luiz will accept given he ignored the chance to leave in the close season to fight for his place.
Speaking after the 1-1 draw against Liverpool on Saturday, he said: “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.”
Significantly, Sarri has also expressed his admiration for Luiz and his performances for Chelsea.
He added: “When I arrived here, immediately I had the feeling he’s a very good player for my way of football because he’s a centre-back who is very technical.
“Then I appreciate his qualities as a man. He’s really better than I thought before.”
Luiz is in his second spell in west London having been at the club between 2011-14 and then rejoining them from Paris Saint Germain for £34m in 2016.
He played in the team that won the Champions League and Europa League final in 2012 and 2013 respectively.
He was also voted into the PFA Premier League Team of the Year when the Blues were crowned champions in 2017.