Mikel Arteta sends message to Arsenal board over David Luiz

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has urged the club to do everything in their power to keep David Luiz despite reports linking the defender with a move in the summer.

The 33-year-old, who joined the Gunners from Chelsea last year, is said to be keen for a return to his former team Benfica, and he has allegedly already held talks with their president.

Despite a shaky start to his Arsenal career under previous boss Unai Emery Luiz has looked a lot more solid since working with Arteta, and was in good form before football was suspended.

Speaking ahead of their game against Manchester City on Wednesday, Arteta said he hoped the centre-back would have a change of heart and stay for another season.

"I'm really happy with David, I want to keep him here with us," Arteta said.

"He's been a key role model for me since I joined. I like what he produces on the pitch, I like his influence around the players and around the club. I would love to keep him."

Luiz is likely to start as the Gunners face a tricky first game back in the Premier League with their trip to the Etihad Stadium to face City.

They currently sit in ninth place in the table, but could move within five points of fourth placed Chelsea with victory on Wednesday.

And Arteta has insisted his side can still qualify for Europe.

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“We haven’t been able to achieve the goals we have wanted in the last three years and there is a reason behind it,” he said. “If we stand still that gap will become bigger and bigger. I haven’t come here to accept that.

“The fact that we’ve not been in the Champions League has put an enormous amount of pressure on the club in financial terms.

“We know our responsibility and the aims – and how much that would relax the financial position that we are in. We are trying to put a plan together to improve what we have."

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