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Arsenal interest in Douglas Luiz explained as Edu eyes £59m summer deal

Arsenal Interest In Douglas Luiz Explained As Edu Eyes £59m Summer Deal


Douglas Luiz of Aston Villa celebrates after the team's victory during the Premier League match between Fulham FC and Aston Villa at Craven Cottage on February 17, 2024 in London, England. 

Arsenal are interested in signing a midfielder this summer as Mikel Arteta aims to add quality to his squad ahead of the 2024/25 season, footballflame understands.

With the likes of Thomas Partey, Emile Smith Rowe and Fabio Vieira linked with moves away from Emirates Stadium, it's believed Edu sees the signing of a central midfielder as the priority over the coming months. Bruno Guimaraes, Martin Zubimendi and Amadou Onana have been linked with a move to north London, as has Douglas Luiz.

The Aston Villa man has been on Edu's radar since at least 2022 and was the subject of three Gunners bids that summer. Ahead of deadline day in early September, Arsenal saw bids of £20million, £22million and £25million rejected by Villa.

At the time, Luiz was playing under Steven Gerrard, was not a regular starter and had just one year remaining on his contract. The Brazilian ended up staying in the West Midlands and actually signed a 'long-term’ contract the following month, reported to run until 2026.

Less than two weeks after Luiz committed his future to Villa, Unai Emery was appointed as the club's new head coach and the midfielder's form under the Spaniard has been sensational ever since. In fact, last season Luiz scored 10 goals and assisted 10 more in 53 appearances in all competitions. He is now valued at £59million, according to Transfermarkt, although Villa would likely command a higher fee given his importance to the side.

Explaining his decision to sign a new contract with Villa in 2022, Luiz said: "Because I love this club, this club opened the door for me to come here to England and play in the Premier League. The club has given me the space and I'm so happy, because I'm staying here and my choice is here."

While Arsenal failed in their attempt to sign Luiz two years ago, the Gunners have kept an eye on the Brazilian's progress and Arteta remains a fan of the midfielder. According to transfer guru Fabrizio Romano, Arsenal are 'one to watch' when it comes to a possible Luiz transfer.

Via GiveMeSport, Romano said: "[Douglas] Luiz has always been appreciated by Arsenal and he was close to joining them two years ago, so let’s see if they decide to return or not, though at the moment they are not actively working on this one. Still, Luiz looks like one to watch for Juve, Arsenal, and maybe other clubs too because for Villa, the Brazilian midfielder could be one to watch in terms of possible outgoings to stay in line with Financial Fair Play."

Villa may have to sell this summer with the club needing to offset new signings by player sales in order to comply with the Premier League's profit and sustainability rules, Daily Mirror reports. "We are trying to keep to Financial Fair Play while holding on to the best players in our squad. But of course we are not closed off to selling someone if a very good offer comes in and it gives us the possibility to improve our FFP position," Emery said in January.

"We are going to work with respect to the rules. However, we must be sure we do not lose our potential as a team — even if we have to sell some players. It can be dangerous when you sell players just to have money. It can be difficult to replace them while remaining successful."

With Villa's potential need to sell and Arsenal's desire to sign a midfielder, a transfer could make sense for both parties. Owner Stan Kroenke, who has backed Edu and Arteta heavily in recent years, may need to sanction the £59million deal sooner rather than later, given Villa's need to do business before June 30. This is certainly one to watch.

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Arsenal interest in Douglas Luiz explained as Edu eyes £59m summer deal