Man City hatch ‘surprise plan’ to hijack Arsenal’s move for Mikel Arteta’s €55m ‘top target’

Lewis Oldham
Man City target Luiz
Aston Villa midfielder Douglas Luiz.

According to reports, Manchester City have joined Arsenal in the race to sign Douglas Luiz from Premier League rivals Aston Villa.

Luiz had a spell at Man City earlier in his career but he did not make a single senior appearance for the Premier League champions before he joined Aston Villa in 2019.

The Brazil international has made 170 appearances for the Villans across all competitions over the past four and a half years and he’s blossomed into one of the best defensive midfielders in the Premier League.

The 25-year-old is loving life under Unai Emery as he has grabbed five goals and two assists in 13 league outings for Aston Villa, who beat Tottenham 2-1 on Sunday afternoon to move into the top four.

Luiz – who is valued at €55m by transfermarkt – has been heavily linked with a move to Arsenal in recent years. He has been identified as one of their preferred targets ahead of the January transfer window but Football Insider are reporting that Man City are also interested in him.

City are said to have a ‘surprise plan to re-sign Luiz’. The report adds.

‘Man City have a strong interest in re-signing Aston Villa star Douglas Luiz, sources have told Football Insider.

‘Football Insider revealed last week (17 November) that Arsenal are “hell-bent” on sealing a deal for the midfielder, 25, in the January transfer window.

‘City are also in the market for a central midfielder as the winter window approaches.

‘Sources told Football Insider on 17 November that Pep Guardiola’s side have a concrete interest in Al-Hilal star Ruben Neves. It is believed both Neves and Luiz are on the shortlist at the Etihad Stadium.’

After Villa’s 2-1 win over Spurs, head coach Emery suggested that Luiz is “happy with us”.

“He’s playing very good. He’s improved a lot, his commitment is amazing,” Emery said.

“I am very happy with him and I want to keep him of course. I think he’s happy with us.

“He’s coming on with his national team. And his performance like today was amazing. I want him.”

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Earlier this month, transfer expert Fabrizio Romano claimed that Luiz is Arsenal’s “top target”.

“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,” Romano said.

“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.”