Chelsea Rebuff Arsenal Over Defender Bid

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Chelsea rejected a £18m bid from Arsenal for 31-year-old central defender David Luiz, according to talkSPORT.

The Brazil international fell from manager Antonio Conte’s grace last season and ‘suffered’ season-ending ankle and knee injuries early in 2018.

Having been sent off during the Community Shield defeat to Arsenal, there was a growing sense that the Italian no longer trusted the error-prone Luiz. His mistakes and unmistakable hairstyle earned him the nickname ‘Sideshow Bob’ from opposing supporters.

The Gunners are set to name Sokratis Papastathopoulos, 29, as their next signing with the Greece international moving to north London in a £16m deal from Borussia Dortmund.

With Laurent Koscielny, 32, injured and unlikely to return before December, Arsenal are desperate to add experience to the powder-puff centre which left Petr Cech hopelessly exposed on a regular basis. Questions remain over former Germany international Shkodran Mustafi, 26, whose error-strewn performances were regularly criticised by the club’s supporters.

New boss Unai Emery is keen to add ball-playing centre-backs to augment his favoured high-pressing style. Sokratis is noted for a willingness to intercept attacking play, but Luiz prefers the ball-playing approach offering the Gunners an interesting balance.

There’s no sign, however, that Arsenal are ready to return with a higher offer for the Brazilian.