Arsenal are preparing to make a move for Aston Villa midfielder Douglas Luiz, who has yet to open contract talks at Villa Park.
Luiz has just 18 months left on his contract and Villa have yet to offer him an extension. The 23-year-old has made 17 Premier League appearances this season, including nine appearances under Steven Gerrard.
However, after Gerrard confirmed extension talks had not begun, he was far from glowing in his appraisal of the Brazilian, saying he had “done OK”.
Arsenal may well see that as the encouragement they need to get Luiz to The Emirates.
According to the Birmingham Mail, Arsenal are hoping to capitalise on the situation. With Luiz yet to open talks about his long-term future. Mikel Arteta and Edu are getting ready to make their move.
A formal offer is expected to be lodged before next Monday’s deadline.
“No, we haven’t opened contract talks yet with Douglas,” Gerrard said. “I think in this period and in this window, it has been the case of trying to strengthen the current squad, make additions and, also, find destinations for some of our younger players in terms of loans.
“Dougie has done OK for us. We’ve been happy with his training level and the performances that he has given.
“We still think that there’s room for him to get better and improve. You know, he had a bit of an injury when we first arrived and we still think there’s another gear or two for Dougie to go into.
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“He’s doing us a job as a No.6 at the moment. We know that he maybe prefers to play a bit more advanced but he’s helped us out an awful lot on the back of Nakamba’s injury.
“We rate the player extremely high and we’re hoping from now until the end of the season, he can really perform at his best and help the team moving forward.”
Bentancur deal to give green light for Luiz
Gerrard’s stance on Luiz is likely to revolve around Villa’s pursuit of Juventus midfielder Rodrigo Bentancur.
The Daily Mail claims Villa made an official approach for Bentancur on Saturday.
According to the paper, Villa’s offer has been accepted but remains on hold until Juve sign a replacement.
Villa also had the Uruguayan watched in the San Siro on Sunday. And a bid of around £20m is understood to be on the table.
Bentancur comes with a big recommendation from Suarez, who knows him from the international scene.
Bentancur has made 26 appearances in all competitions for Juventus this season, with three assists to his name.