Fabrizio Romano thinks that Arsenal will find it tough to land a deal for Aston Villa midfielder Douglas Luiz, despite Mikel Arteta being keen on the deal.
The Gunners are in a strong position heading into December as they currently top the Premier League table with 30 points.
Arteta will already have one eye on the January window and they seem to be keen on adding to their midfield options in the winter window.
As the long-term future of Thomas Partey remains up in the air, Arsenal have identified Luiz as a potential replacement for the Ghana international.
However, Aston Villa rate Luiz highly and they won’t be willing to lose him on the cheap, especially as they currently occupy a spot in the top four.
Romano has provided an update on Arsenal’s pursuit of Luiz and has explained why the Gunners might find it tough to strike a deal.
“Douglas Luiz keeps being linked strongly with Arsenal ahead of January, but I think it’s going to be a tough one,” Romano explained in his Daily Briefing column.
“It reminds me of the Moises Caicedo situation last January transfer window when Arsenal really wanted Caicedo – they made multiple bids to sign him and then at the end it was not possible.
“Now it’s similar because Aston Villa want to keep the player, Aston Villa are doing wonderful and also they consider Douglas Luiz a very expensive midfielder because he’s doing great.”
Luiz is under contract at Villa Park until 2026 so the club are in a strong position to fend off any interest in January. Along with Arsenal, the likes of Man City and Liverpool have also been linked with the midfielder.
Arsenal could test Aston Villa’s resolve in January if they do submit a sizeable bid and Romano has confirmed that the 25-year-old is at the top of the list for both Edu and Arteta.
“So I don’t think it’s going to be easy but I can guarantee that Douglas Luiz is on top of the list for Edu and Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta,” Romano adds.
“Both of them really appreciate the player and they believe that he could be perfect for the Arsenal midfield.
“But again, this is going to be very expensive, very difficult, and Aston Villa have no intention to sell. So I think also with the Financial Fair Play situation that we know will be very important for Arsenal in 2024, I think this could be a complicated one, but he remains their top target.
“I still think Arsenal will try to sign Douglas Luiz, even if it will be very difficult as Aston Villa don’t want to sell him.”