Premier League • England

Fabrizio Romano reveals Arsenal gunning for ‘ambitious’ January signing as Arteta decides ‘favourite’ target

Douglas Luiz and Dani Olmo, Spain vs Brazil

Douglas Luiz and Dani Olmo

Arsenal have landed on Aston Villa star Douglas Luiz as their ‘favourite option’ to bolster central midfield and will make an ‘ambitious’ approach for him in January, according to transfer specialist Fabrizio Romano.

Luiz was always going to have a great chance at making it in the Premier League as he spent time at Manchester City earlier in his career. Pep Guardiola’s side landed him from Brazilian outfit Vasco da Gama in July 2017, with the deal reportedly worth around £10million.

Luiz spent the next two seasons on loan at Girona in Spain, where he made 46 appearances across all competitions. The Brazilian returned to City in the summer of 2019, though Guardiola decided he did not need him as his midfield options were already strong at the time.

As such, Villa pounced on the opportunity to sign Luiz by taking him to the West Midlands for a reported £15m.

Luiz has gone on to establish himself as an integral player for Villa, and he is currently enjoying a brilliant campaign under Unai Emery. After netting seven goals in the whole of last season, he is already on six strikes from 18 games this term.

The 25-year-old’s excellent displays at Villa have led to rumours he might leave for one of the Premier League’s truly elite sides. In the summer of 2022, Arsenal submitted offers worth £20m, £23m and £25m for him, all of which were knocked back by Villa.

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However, Villa may once again have to deal with growing interest in their player. Arsenal are on the hunt for midfield reinforcements as Thomas Partey has suffered an injury setback. Due to that recurring problem, and his potential participation at the Africa Cup of Nations with Ghana, Mikel Arteta may not be able to use him until February.

Writing on X, formerly known as Twitter, Romano has provided his information on how Arsenal are hoping to replace Partey.

Arsenal hopeful of Douglas Luiz raid

The journalist states that Arsenal will ‘look again’ to add to Arteta’s midfield ranks, with Luiz their ‘favourite option’. Romano confirms that the former City man is a long-term target of Arsenal’s, though it is an ‘ambitious’ pursuit as Villa are determined to keep him.

Indeed, there are several factors which indicate the Gunners will have to spend big money if they are to snatch Luiz away from Villa Park. The first is that Villa are on the up under Emery and are aiming to get into the top four at some stage.

Given how well Luiz has been performing in the last few seasons, Villa chiefs will view him as being vital to that process. They will therefore not want to sell him, especially to a club who currently holds a top-four spot.

Plus, Luiz’s Villa contract runs until June 2026. This means they are under no pressure to sell him for a cut-price fee any time soon. transfermarkt value the nine-cap international at €55m (£48m), though Villa will likely demand more than this figure when Arsenal begin transfer discussions.

As Arsenal are not normally huge spenders in the winter window, they will have to make a big decision on whether to break the bank and capture Luiz, or move towards other targets who might be easier to land.

Meanwhile, Ivan Toney may not actually be Arsenal’s top striker target, with a report claiming a Serie A hitman to be their true ideal signing.