£175m Arsenal dream in tatters as Man City accelerate move for ‘world-class’ Prem star

Man City boss Pep Guardiola, Mikel Arteta of Arsenal

Man City and Arsenal are both in for the same player

Arsenal have been handed a major setback in their bid to sign Douglas Luiz, with Manchester City reportedly ramping up their pursuit of the Aston Villa ace.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is in need of a new central midfielder and striker this summer, with Thomas Partey no longer a reliable player due to injuries and Gabriel Jesus not quite up to scratch in terms of goalscoring. The Gunners have been linked with plenty of players for both positions, but on Thursday it emerged they are knuckling down on a double Villa raid to improve their team.

Arsenal are reportedly plotting moves for £100m-rated midfielder Luiz and his electric striker team-mate Ollie Watkins, who is valued at £75m.

Arteta was left delighted on Tuesday as football finance journalist Kieran Maguire revealed Villa will have to sell some top players this summer, which could include Luiz and Watkins.

“Aston Villa have invested significant sums and now face big losses,” Maguire said.

“They have had the £100m Jack Grealish sale to Manchester City as a get-out-of-jail-free card for three seasons. But that expires on 30 June 2024 and so will no longer be accounted for.

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“They do have some desirable playing assets so it’s now a case of acting smart. But they will probably have to sell to buy in the upcoming summer window.”

Despite this, Arsenal will find it tough to sign prime midfield target Luiz. As per an update from Football Insider, Man City are ‘stepping up’ their hunt to re-sign the Brazilian international.

Arsenal target may return to Man City

Luiz was previously on City’s books between July 2017 and and July 2019 but did not make any senior appearances for the serial winners as he spent the whole time on loan at Girona.

When the Citizens sold Luiz to Villa for £15m in summer 2019, they included a buy-back clause in the deal. But that clause has since expired, which means City will have to match Villa’s demands before signing him.

According to The Athletic, Unai Emery’s side view the 25-year-old as being ‘world-class’ and will therefore hold out for a huge £100m, making him one of the most expensive Premier League players of all time.

Although, this will not put City off. Football Insider’s report adds that Pep Guardiola is a ‘huge fan’ of Luiz and feels he has improved massively since he left the Etihad.

He could return to Manchester this summer and help Guardiola’s side push for yet more silverware. It is now up to Arsenal to press ahead and see if they can snare Luiz first.

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