Arsenal move for Prem star deemed a ‘non-starter’ but path to sign £80m Man Utd target is mooted

Lewis Oldham
Arsenal targets Luiz and Toney
Douglas Luiz challenges Ivan Toney.

According to Stan Collymore, a move for Douglas Luiz from Aston Villa to Premier League rivals Arsenal in January will be a “non-starter”.

Arsenal are top of the Premier League heading into this weekend’s fixtures. This season’s title race is shaping up to be a thriller as there are only two points between the Gunners and fourth-placed Aston Villa.

Mikel Arteta’s side are expected to strengthen in January as they attempt to boost their chances of winning the league.

Aston Villa’s Luiz and Brentford’s Ivan Toney are being consistently mentioned as their main targets for next month’s winter transfer window.

Luiz has been described as Arsenal’s ‘top target’, while Man Utd are said to have joined the London outfit in the race to sign Toney, who is valued at around £80m.

Collymore cannot see Arsenal signing Luiz in January as they may not be “prepared to pay” what Villa want for their in-form midfielder.

“I don’t think there’s any chance of Douglas Luiz going to Arsenal in January because Villa will be after the kind of money that I don’t think Arsenal would be prepared to pay,” Collymore told Caught Offside.

“They’ve just spent £100m on Declan Rice, and I think that Villa would be turning around and saying that’s the kind of money we want, thereby making it a non-starter.”

Regarding Ivan Toney, Collymore said: “Brentford won’t be in a relegation scrap so I think that they can afford to turn around to Ivan Toney and say, ‘look, we’ve been really loyal to you over the gambling stuff, we’re not going to let you go in January, but we will let you go at the end of the season.’”

SAV PREDICTS: Robbie Savage Premier League predictions week 14… City to smash Spurs and Newcastle vs Man Utd

Collymore thinks Luiz has been “sensational” for the Villans this season under Unai Emery, who is working wonders at Villa Park.

“Ollie Watkins, Douglas Luiz and also John McGinn have been sensational as has Emi Martinez, and all of them received some criticism in the Gerrard era. Emery’s made them all better through great management and great coaching,” Collymore continued.

“Success has come without significantly adding to the squad and don’t forget that they’ve had injuries, with some players – Alex Moreno and Diego Carlos to name two – only just coming back. Tyrone Mings has been out and a lot of Villa fans thought that would be a problem too. It hasn’t been.”

Collymore added: “If you’re looking at giving a ‘half term scorecard,’ Aston Villa for me would be the highest on nine because there’s one manager above all others that will be happiest with their start to the season and that’s Unai Emery.”