David Luiz expected to sign as Arsenal strengthen defence

Defender set to sign two-year deal at the Emirates after relationship at Chelsea broke down

Arsenal are set to complete the signing of David Luiz from Chelsea. Photo: EPA

Arsenal are set to complete the signing of David Luiz from Chelsea. Photo: EPA

 

Arsenal expect to complete the surprise £8m (€9.5m) signing of David Luiz today in a move that will alleviate their defensive worries.

The Chelsea player is expected to sign a two-year deal after undergoing a medical today, with the transfer in line to be formalised before today’s 5pm deadline. Arsenal moved quickly to agree a deal for the 32-year-old after Laurent Koscielny departed for Bordeaux on Tuesday, amid suggestions the centre-back’s relationship with key figures at Stamford Bridge had broken down.

He will reunite with Unai Emery, the pair having briefly crossed paths at Paris Saint-Germain in 2016, and will be expected to provide personality and leadership at the heart of a back line that has lacked such qualities.

In David Luiz Arsenal will be signing a player who has had his critics but is a proven winner. Across two spells at Chelsea – and a total of six and a half years – he has made 248 appearances, scoring 18 goals. He was a Champions League winner in 2012 and has won the Europa League twice, anchoring the defence on the second of those occasions when Chelsea beat Arsenal 4-1 in last season’s final. Before that game he described Emery as “a great guy, a great coach, a great person”.

David Luiz should be joined today by the Celtic left-back Kieran Tierney, whose £25m (€27m) move will end a long-running chase. Tierney is currently injured, having suffered discomfort following a double hernia operation, but that is not expected to be a stumbling block.

Those deals should conclude Arsenal’s incomings on deadline day but there has also been movement in the other direction. The 19-year-old left-back Dominic Thompson has joined Championship side Brentford on a permanent deal while the striker Eddie Nketiah could complete a loan move to their divisional rivals Leeds United. – Guardian

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