LONDON – David Luiz missed Chelsea’s first-team training yesterday as he attempts to force through a shock deadline-day move to Arsenal.
Sportsmail understands Luiz has been an increasingly disruptive figure at the club’s Cobham HQ in recent days, culminating in the surprise development.
The Brazil defender, it is believed, reported for training but was not involved in the senior set-up, casting doubt over his future at the club.
Some sources suggested the decision for Luiz not to train with the first team was mutual - but others claimed last night his omission was part of a wider plan by the defender to force through a move to the Emirates Stadium.
Chelsea were yesterday awaiting a formal offer from Arsenal, who are hopeful of securing the 32-year-old for as little as £5million.
Despite being left a central defender short - and without the option of signing a replacement due to their transfer ban - Chelsea are willing to let Luiz leave. The club broke their policy of only offering players over the age of 30 one-year extensions by offering Luiz a two-year deal earlier this year.
But despite that commitment, the defender is determined to leave and has not hidden his feelings at the club’s training base. Indeed, Luiz has been at the centre of a number of spats in recent days - irking Frank Lampard and his backroom team, who have been at pains to nurture a united atmosphere since their arrival this summer.
The Chelsea manager, who is clearly unwilling to let anyone damage team spirit, is understood to have made his stance clear.
The final decision over whether Luiz is allowed to go will be made by director Marina Granovskaia.Daily Mail