David Luiz will leave Arsenal at the end of his contract in June, sources close to the club confirmed to CBS Sports.
Former Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain center back Luiz was informed at a meeting with the club hierarchy today that they would not be offering him an extension and that though he would depart with what an Arsenal source described as "huge respect for him and his contribution" it was felt that Mikel Arteta's side needed to look to the future in defense.
The news will not have come as a surprise to Luiz, who turned 34 last month. CBS Sports revealed last week that the player's representatives had begun laying the groundwork for his potential departure by reaching out to prospective suitors for next season, including more than one team in MLS. His significant salary -- he is understood to earn around $140,000-a-week at Arsenal -- means that move appears unlikely unless he reduces his wage demands.
For Arsenal allowing Luiz to leave trims back the wage bill and also opens up opportunities for younger center backs. Arteta signed Gabriel, 23, from Lille for $33million last summer and have Konstantinos Mavropanos and William Saliba returning from loan spells at the end of the season. The latter in particular is a prospect in whom the Gunners' hierarchy have high hopes after signing him for $34million in 2019 only to immediately loan him back to Saint-Etienne to continue his footballing education.
Having struggled to break into Arteta's squad in the first half of this season Saliba was sent on loan to fellow Ligue 1 side Nice, where he has impressed on a consistent basis. Arsenal intend to give him the opportunity to establish himself in the first team during pre-season.
Luiz is unlikely to be the only senior player to depart this summer. Vice-captain Hector Bellerin is open to departing, as CBS Sports first revealed in February, while goalkeeper Bernd Leno will assess his options in the summer in pursuit of Champions League football. Arsenal have also indicated that they will not consider bringing Dani Ceballos back on loan for a third season from Real Madrid.