Arsenal reportedly “really, really” want Douglas Luiz in January as he’s seen as the “perfect” midfielder for them, and Mikel Arteta will be given funds to chase a big snare.
Luiz has come into his own at Villa Park under the management of Unai Emery. He largely played as a holding-midfielder before the Spaniard’s tenure, so wasn’t given a lot of chance to show off his skills.
However, his attacking nature seems to have truly been unlocked by Emery, who’s deployed him as a more advanced midfielder, while sometimes still having him sit ahead of the back four.
Last season, Luiz scored six goals and provided another six assists, which included two goals and an assist in the last three games of the campaign, against Tottenham, Liverpool and Brighton – Villa won two of those games and drew one.
This term, the Brazilian’s impressive production has continued – he’s already bagged five goals and an assist in the league, as well as chipping in with another assist in the Europa Conference League.
Amid his good form, he’s the subject of interest from some big sides – namely Arsenal.
The Gunners were keen on him a couple of years ago, but Villa rejected their advances, with a final offer of £25million not enough for them to allow Luiz to leave.
However, a couple of years down the line, it’s said he is their top target for the January window.
Arsenal ‘hell-bent’ on Luiz transfer
Indeed, transfer insider Fabrizio Romano has detailed there’s a strong effort to make him an Arsenal player soon.
“I mentioned the name of Douglas Luiz last week as the top target for Arsenal, and I can confirm guys that Arsenal really, really want and appreciate Douglas Luiz,” he told the Caught Offside.
“He’s a player they’ve had on their list for more than two years, and Arsenal consider him the perfect midfielder for their way of playing, for his intensity and for the quality he can bring.
Another report has reinforced the Gunners’ fierce desire to make the Villa man their own, as it’s said that the club are ‘hell-bent’ on recruiting the Brazilian, with both manager Arteta and club chiefs in agreement that the signing is a must.
That’s largely because midfield is their priority, given Thomas Partey has become injury prone, and there are ageing men in midfield corps, such as Jorginho and Mohamed Elneny.
With that being said, Arteta is going to ‘push hard’ to try to get a deal for Luiz done in January.
Arsenal close to valuation
TEAMtalk recently revealed that it’ll take £60million for Villa to allow Luiz to go. That’s more than double what Arsenal tried to pay for him on their last attempt, thus showing how central to the Villans’ side the midfielder has become.
While the Gunners couldn’t get it done last time, they might be able to now, as they’re already in the right ballpark.
Indeed, a Football Insider report stated Arteta will be backed by his club in January, who are ‘ready to spend up to £50million on a single player’.
While that’s below Villa’s valuation, the Gunners could try their hand and see if there is any wiggle room.
If they’re given encouragement that a deal is not far away at that price, club chiefs, who are as keen as Arteta on this deal, could sanction a bigger deal to ensure they get Luiz.
However, it would not be a surprise if Villa play hardball and even go above their current valuation given how important Luiz currently is for them.
That is what Romano is expecting, stating: “The problem remains that Aston Villa have no intention to let him go in January, so it’s going to be really difficult.”