€55m Arsenal, Newcastle target is ‘Arteta’s new wish’ as ‘perfect’ signing is identified for January

Lewis Oldham
Arsenal boss Arteta
Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta.

According to reports, Mikel Arteta is pushing Arsenal to fight Premier League rivals Newcastle United in the race to sign Ruben Neves.

The Gunners are second in the 2023 Premier League net spend table after they splashed out over £200m to recruit Declan Rice, Kai Havertz, Jurrien Timber and David Raya in the summer.

Arsenal are likely to strengthen again in January as they attempt to boost their chances of winning the Premier League.

Brentford’s Ivan Toney has consistently been linked with the North London outfit in recent months but long-term target Douglas Luiz has been described as their ‘top’ option ahead of the winter window. 

Luiz has been in sensational form for Aston Villa at the start of this season and they will be unwilling to let him leave in January as they push for European qualification.

Arsenal may therefore be forced to look at alternative targets and they are being linked with Neves, who left Wolves to sign for Saudi Pro League outfit Al-Hilal in the summer for a deal worth around €55m.

Spanish outlet Sport (via Sport Witness) claims Neves is ‘Arteta’s new wish’ and it is Arsenal’s ‘firm intention’ to sign him ahead of Premier League rivals Newcastle United. 

Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano meanwhile is of the understanding that Arsenal “consider Luiz to be the perfect midfielder for their way of playing”.

“It’s also important to mention guys that injuries are not helping Arsenal either, with Thomas Partey’s situation ensuring that Arsenal will still look at midfielders in the January transfer window,” Romano told Caught Offside.

OPINION: Foden, TAA, Guehi, Palmer shine but Gallagher and Rashford flop… rating England players v Malta

“I mentioned the name of Douglas Luiz last week as the top target for Arsenal, and I can confirm guys that Arsenal really, really want and appreciate Douglas Luiz.

“He’s a player they’ve had on their list for more than two years, and Arsenal consider him the perfect midfielder for their way of playing, for his intensity and for the quality he can bring. So many different factors make him top of the list for Arsenal now.

“The problem remains that Aston Villa have no intention to let him go in January, so it’s going to be really difficult. It will take a really important proposal to tempt Aston Villa, so something not easy at all.

“But, for sure, Douglas Luiz is in Arsenal’s list and is a midfielder for the present and the future. Let’s see if they will be able to make it happen in January or they have to look at another solution in midfield.”