According to reports, Arsenal are stepping up their efforts to sign Brazil international Douglas Luiz from Premier League rivals Aston Villa.
The Gunners have been heavily linked with Luiz over the past couple of years and they had several bids rejected for the midfielder during last year’s summer transfer window.
Luiz is currently loving life under Unai Emery and he is surprisingly among the best finishers in the Premier League.
Arsenal spent over £100m to sign Declan Rice during the summer transfer window but Luiz remains on their radar and transfer expert Fabrizio Romano is of the understanding that is their main target ahead of January.
“The top name, from what I’m hearing on Arsenal’s list is Douglas Luiz,” Romano said via his YouTube channel.
“The player was already on the list two years ago. Edu and others at the club really appreciate him, Douglas Luiz is considered the perfect midfielder by people at Arsenal, they would love to sign him and return on Douglas Luiz.
“Only a crazy, huge, important proposal could be considered in January. If Arsenal want to go for their top target in January, they’ll need to invest a lot of money.”
While Arsenal have their eye on Luiz, Aston Villa have been regularly linked with Emile Smith Rowe in recent months.
Smith Rowe has slipped down the pecking order under Mikel Arteta and a move to Villa – to reunite with former manager Emery – would make sense.
Spanish outlet Fichajes are of the understanding that these two players could soon switch clubs as Arsenal ‘want a swap deal’.
Arsenal are said to be ‘considering offering’ Smith Rowe’ as ‘part of a deal to acquire’ Luiz, who is valued at €55m by transfermarkt.
Arteta is understood to have ‘great interest’ in Luiz, who is described as Arsenal’s ‘primary target’ ahead of the upcoming winter transfer window.
Ex-Villa man Alan Hutton recently claimed bids for Luiz “would have to be over £50m” to tempt Villa into a sale.
“I think at this moment in time, with some of the market valuations, it would have to be over £50million,” Hutton told Football Insider.
“He’s at a great age, he’s been outstanding. He could probably play for most teams in the Premier League, with Manchester City being the strongest one.
“So there will obviously be people snooping about. He’s got a great goal-scoring record at Villa Park, you see what he gives you in dead-ball situations – penalties, corners, free kicks.