June 17, 2020 / 4:31 AM / 25 days ago

Arteta wants 'role model' Luiz to extend Arsenal deal

Soccer Football - FA Cup Fifth Round - Portsmouth v Arsenal - Fratton Park, Portsmouth, Britain - March 2, 2020 Arsenal's David Luiz celebrates at the end of the match REUTERS/David Klein/Files

(Reuters) - Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta says David Luiz is a “key role model” and hopes the Brazilian defender will extend his contract at the Premier League club beyond this season.

Luiz joined Arsenal from London rivals Chelsea in August with British media reporting he had joined on a two-year deal but his agent told Sky Sports last week the 33-year-old had only signed for one year.

“I’m really happy with David, I want to keep him here with us. He’s been a key role model since I joined,” Arteta said at a news conference ahead of Wednesday’s game against Manchester City as the league resumes following the COVID-19 disruption.

“I like what he produces on the pitch, I like his influence around the players and the club — I would love to keep him.”

Arteta also said the side needed improvement but was unsure about his options in the transfer market due to the financial impact of the novel coronavirus outbreak.

“The plans I had were not considering the coronavirus and all the side effects,” Arteta added.

“We know what we need to improve the team, that is for sure. Whether we’re going to be able to do it the way we want is a different story.”

Arsenal are ninth with 40 points from 28 matches.

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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