Exclusive: Aston Villa ready to fend off Arsenal, Liverpool and Man City interest for £80m-rated star

Aston Villa’s intentions to hold on to Douglas Luiz will be tested by interest from all of their top four rivals – Man City, Arsenal and Liverpool, TEAMtalk has learned.

Luiz has been an outstanding performer for Villa this season as Unai Emery’s side have forced themselves into the traditional Champions League places.

TEAMtalk has learned that the three clubs above them – Arsenal, Manchester City and Liverpool – all hold genuine levels of interest in the central midfielder. Whilst Villa’s stance is that he is not for sale, their resistance is going to be tested by the time we get to the summer window.

There is very little chance he will leave in January though – and sources are indicating that it would take close to £80million if anyone wants to entertain the idea of signing him.

Luiz, 25, has been at the hub of everything good about Villa this season, starting all 13 of their matches in the Premier League.

Arsenal are being linked heavily with Luiz, but may not be able to stretch the budget to test the water effectively with a bid in January. It’s been an open secret that the Gunners are long-term admirers but they have failed to sign him in the past and – given that Villa are in a better place now than they have been in years – will struggle again.

His mentality and style of play fits at Arsenal but it is considered they are likely to opt for a lower cost option instead, for now.

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Man City boss Guardiola big admirer of Luiz 

Luiz has had elite potential ever since his earlier days in English football. Sources have confirmed that Man City have continued to track him since earlier problems with a work permit restricted him from playing for them between 2017 and 2019.  Guardiola remains an admirer of the player, who has grown into the talent they had identified many years ago.

Liverpool also like Luiz, and while there is not yet clarity on how they next add to their midfield, it is considered he is of the profile that will suit them if they strengthen further in the summer.

Tottenham have also had Luiz on their radar in the past year but any club that touches base in January will be told categorically that Luiz is not for sale as he is considered a crucial cog in Villa’s successful system.

After the 2-1 win at Tottenham on Saturday, boss Emery said: “He’s playing very good. He’s improved a lot, his commitment is amazing. I am very happy with him and I want to keep him of course. I think he’s happy with us.”

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