Chelsea defender David Luiz has said owner Roman Abramovich remains passionate about the club and added that he discussed his recent contract extension directly with the Russian.
Abramovich has been absent from Stamford Bridge all season amid his ongoing standoff with the UK government, who last year declined his application to extend his tier-1 investor visa, and Chelsea officials have been forced to deny that their owner is open to selling the club to British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe.
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And Luiz said Abramovich — who is expected to attend when Chelsea take on New England Revolution in a friendly branded ‘Final Whistle on Hate’ at Gillette Stadium on Wednesday — is as invested in the club’s success on the pitch as ever.
“He has been away but his heart is here,” Luiz said of Abramovich in an interview with the Daily Mail. “He loves this club. He is the one who built Chelsea.
“Everything at Chelsea changed because of him. The results speak for themselves: 15 trophies in 15 years. He came here to do something amazing and he did it.
“I had the opportunity to talk with him last week, to decide my future. He loves the club and everything that is inside the club, not just the people. He wants to win everything. He is still in love with the club and wants to do more.
“It is difficult for him, but his heart is with us, he tries to be involved every single day. He is still really passionate for the club. He is still thinking in the same way. He has the same hunger, thinking about winning. He doesn’t want to lose energy.”
Luiz, 32, is looking forward to remaining one of Chelsea’s experienced leaders after signing a two-year contract extension last week, and the Brazil international is excited about guiding the development of the club’s most talented academy prospects.
“We have top class players and we have good young players,” he added. “Ruben [Loftus-Cheek] has had the best season of his career.
“For me they have the level to be with us and try to help the team. It is a big opportunity for Chelsea to bring back these young players, especially because they are English. We can build some legends for the club.”