Aston Villa could be set to lose one of their first-team stars next year, with a fresh report revealing that he has been made a top target by one of his admirers.
Aston Villa transfer news – Dendoncker, Traore, Langlet
The Premier League outfit sanctioned the permanent sales of Cameron Archer, Jaden Philogene-Bidace, Marvelous Nakamba, Keinan Davis, Ashley Young and Wesley Moraes over the summer, whilst sending Philippe Coutinho, Morgan Sanson and Viljami Sinisalo on loan for the remainder of the season.
As per Football Insider, Unai Emery is open to offers for Leander Dendoncker and Bertrand Traore, whilst Barcelona could consider recalling Clement Lenglet in the new year because they are unhappy with his lack of game time, so those three could also be heading for the exit door in January.
However, Douglas Luiz is additionally one of those on the chopping block having recently attracted interest from La Liga side Atletico Madrid, not to mention the fact that the central midfielder has been a long-term target of top-flight rivals Arsenal.
The Brazil international has established himself as the manager’s best-performing offensive player so far this season (WhoScored – Aston Villa statistics), and the 25-year-old’s form has now brought him back onto the radar of Mikel Arteta.
Arsenal set sights on Douglas Luiz
According to Brazilian outlet UOL (via Sport Witness), Arsenal are plotting a swoop for Douglas Luiz in January. The Gunners have “turned their attention” towards the talisman and are now “more focused” on signing him than Fluminense’s Andre, who was previously a primary target.
The Emirates Stadium side are “particularly keen” on Aston Villa’s fan favourite, but it’s not stated what fee it would take to prise him away, and that’s if he was put on the market by NSWE and Monchi at all.
Being a central midfielder, Luiz is capable of making a positive impact at both ends of the pitch, starting with defensively where he’s currently averaging 2.4 tackles per game in the Premier League (WhoScored – Luiz statistics), highlighting his desire to get stuck into challenges and win back possession for his team.
The Rio De Janeiro native, though, has arguably been stronger offensively so far this season having clocked up six involvements, five goals and one assist, in 11 appearances in the top-flight (Transfermarkt – Luiz statistics).
Furthermore, Emery’s £75k-per-week earner (Aston Villa salaries), has the versatility to operate in defensive, central and attacking midfield, so his ability to provide cover in two other positions outside of his own makes him a very useful option for the boss to have in the building.
Therefore, Luiz being a “pivotal” member of the squad, as described by journalist Josh Bunting, means that Villa chiefs need to do everything they can to fend off interest and retain the services of their star man beyond the upcoming transfer window as well as next summer if possible.