David Luiz could be a victim of Chelsea’s over-30 contract policy. The Brazilian centre-back who initially joined Chelsea in 2011 for £22.5 million before being sold to Paris Saint-Germain two and a half years later for £45.6m, is out of contract in the summer. Luiz re-joined Chelsea in 2016 from PSG with his two transfers into Stamford Bridge costing the Blues a total of £54m.
The centre-back has always been a solid contributor for the Blues. Even with former manager Antonio Conte freezing him out of the side, Luiz has battled back to become a regular under new boss Maurizio Sarri.
Luiz has played 15 times in the Premier League this season, five more than a year ago under Conte. He has tallied one goal and contributed to eight Chelsea clean sheets.
David Luiz: Is a new Chelsea contract likely?
According to reports, Luiz wants to remain at Stamford Bridge and talks over a new one-year contract is ongoing.
Like fellow London club Arsenal, Chelsea have instituted a contract rule for players over the age of 30. The club is currently unwilling to hand out multi-year deals to players past the 30-mark. The concept has been met with plenty of unhappiness from fans.
Some claim the policy is hurting Chelsea as it limits them on their player personnel. Nemanja Matic was one of Chelsea’s most important players but was sold to Manchester United just before turning 30 as he wanted a long-term contract.
David Luiz: Does Chelsea’s age policy have merit?
It has been claimed by some fans that Chelsea’s age policy is ridiculous as many of the top teams in Europe have a blend of older and younger players.
Yet, Chelsea’s policy isn’t crazy. Many of the top football players break down by the time they hit 30. Moreover, the club wants to prevent sinking large sums of cash into a multi-year deal with a player who may spend less time on the pitch and more on the sidelines. That money could go into younger players who will be at the club for years to come.
Luiz is an exception to the rule, and perhaps Chelsea’s policy should be on a player-by-player basis. Luiz will turn 32 in April 2019. According to TotalSportek, Luiz earns £120,000 per week, or £6.24m a season. It is a large sum for a centre-back who will be 32 when next season kicks off. If a long-term deal is reached Chelsea would be foolish to continue paying the same wages.
In Luiz’s defence, he is in top physical condition, but it is hard to believe any top Premier League side outside of Manchester United would pay Luiz the same salary next term.
The Brazilian has been a fantastic player for Chelsea over the years and he may have a future at the club still. Whether it is for just one season or more is up for debate.