Luiz to Arsenal? Ornstein reveals possibility of January transfer amid ‘admiration’ – ‘No chance’

Jason Soutar
Arsenal-linked Aston Villa midfielder Douglas Luiz arrives for a Premier League match.
Douglas Luiz arrives for a Premier League match.

Transfer expert David Ornstein does not think Arsenal will sign Douglas Luiz from Premier League rivals Aston Villa in the winter transfer window.

Arsenal have been strongly linked with the Brazilian midfielder since having multiple bids rejected by the Villans in the summer of 2022.

The 25-year-old was impressive last season but his game has elevated to another level under Unai Emery.

In 13 Premier League appearances in 2023/24, Luiz has scored five goals and provided two assists.

Getting goal contributions is not the strongest aspect of Luiz’s game, who is an excellent box-to-box midfield player with the ability to protect his defence.

Arsenal are in the market for a player of that profile after landing Declan Rice for £105million in the summer and reports suggest the Villa star is top of Mikel Arteta’s transfer wishlist.

Having been forced to agree a loan with an option to buy for Brentford goalkeeper David Raya, the Gunners are clearly trying their best not to breach financial fair play rules and should struggle to pay big money for players in January.

And on that note, Villa are surely going to ask for a monstrous fee to get rid of such a crucial player, especially given the fact they are hardly strapped for cash.

READ MORE: What every Prem club needs in the January transfer window: Goalscorers in high demand and short supply…

It seems extremely unlikely and Ornstein has said that Arsenal are not expected to bid in January and Emery’s side have a very “clear” stance.

“I don’t think so,” Ornstein said when asked if the Gunners will try to sign Luiz in the winter window.

“There is admiration for him among some at Arsenal (hence them trying to sign him the summer before last) but I don’t think that view is shared by everyone.

“More importantly, the view at Aston Villa has so far been clear: no chance.”

During a Q&A for The Athletic, Ornstein was asked what Arsenal’s plans are for January but was unable to provide too many details, noting that Arteta is unlikely to let Juventus-linked Thomas Partey and Emile Smith Rowe depart.

“I don’t think firm plans are in place yet – at Arsenal and likewise most other Premier League clubs,” he said. “There is still so much football to be played and so many unknown factors (form, injury etc).

“We know from the Raya loan that Arsenal are close to the line on FFP and when they do have proper money to spend it first needs to go on turning that move permanent. Beyond that, the feeling remains that Arsenal will look to bring in a striker at some point but as things stand nothing seems to be advancing in that regard for January, so next summer would appear more likely.

“Much will depend on potential outgoings. What happens with the likes of Jorginho, Partey and Smith Rowe? I’m not aware of decisions being made on any of them as yet.

“If somebody departs in that midfield area – and don’t forget Fabio Vieira is injured too – it wouldn’t surprise me if Arsenal look to bring in a number six or eight. Perhaps that will depend on their preference for where Rice should be deployed.

“Names like Luiz, Neves, Zubimendi and Jota continue to be mentioned in the public domain and while there may be admiration for such players among some at Arsenal, I’m not sure those views are universal inside the club – and that’s before you even consider whether they are attainable.

“The truth is I don’t know of any concrete plan at this stage, but of course that may well change.”

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