Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard has spoken about a new contract for Douglas Luiz and revealed whether the club might sell him to Arsenal in the future.
Luiz was the subject of several approaches from Arsenal on transfer deadline day. They began the bidding at £20million for the central midfielder, only for this to be knocked back by Aston Villa.
Arsenal came forward with a new offer worth £25m, but this was also rejected. Aston Villa told Mikel Arteta’s side Luiz would not be going anywhere.
It is an interesting decision for the Villans to have taken. Of course, Luiz is an important player to Gerrard, having featured seven times already this season.
However, his contract expires at the end of the campaign. Due to this, Villa are at risk of losing him for nothing in summer 2023.
Selling the Brazilian to Arsenal on September 1 would have given them £25m back, or maybe more.
Instead, Villa are locked in talks with Luiz and his entourage over a renewal in the west Midlands.
This would see the 24-year-old pledge his future to the club and also maintain his transfer value.
But it is a risky strategy as Luiz, as well as his agent, knows just how interested Arsenal are. This could see the player run down his Villa contract and join the Gunners on a free next summer.
Gerrard talks Douglas Luiz future
Ahead of Villa’s clash against Leeds United on Sunday, Gerrard was asked to give an update on the Luiz contract talks. He said (via Birmingham Live): “No news in terms of extending his stay here, so that hasn’t changed. But what I would say is that he’s very focused, he’s trained well.
“Am I surprised by the speculation? No, because we’ve got a young Brazilian player who’s a fantastic talent so I expect to be asked this question a lot as the season progresses.”
Gerrard then reiterated the Villa mantra that they will be keeping hold of the former Manchester City man until it is physically impossible to do so, in a clear message to Arsenal.
“We want him to stay here, the owners were very strong in keeping him here,” the manager said.
“We didn’t obviously want to lose him on the final day and he has performed very well since and he has trained very well and he is ready to go at the weekend.”
Luiz has also been linked with a move to Liverpool, though to a much lesser extent than Arsenal.
Pundit has concern over Liverpool swoop for Luiz
However, former Reds star Steve McManaman has told Jurgen Klopp to look at other midfielders, which could be a boost for Villa.
The pundit said: “Douglas Luiz and Youri Tielemans are both good Premier League players. But I don’t believe they’re good enough for Liverpool.
“I’m not convinced it will be a smart bit of business by Liverpool to move for Douglas Luiz. Regardless of whether his contract is expiring or not.
“I think he’s a good player. But I believe he needs to be quicker in a lot of the things he does. That is to suit the style of football that Liverpool play.”
The likes of Arsenal and Liverpool will be keeping tabs on Luiz’s situation at Villa. Should he decide against penning a new deal, then they will likely pounce in January.
But Villa seem determined to organise a renewal and will keep pushing until one is sorted. And if the star extends at Villa Park, Arsenal and Liverpool will have to pursue alternative midfielders.
Meanwhile, Villa chiefs are looking at a former ‘Big Six’ manager to take over from Gerrard, as per a report.