Arsenal backed to make transfer move for Pep Guardiola favourite amid Steven Gerrard admission

Arsenal have been backed to make an official move for Aston Villa midfielder Douglas Luiz in the summer transfer window.

According to a report from the Evening Standard recently, the north London club have an interest in the 23-year-old, who has around 18 months remaining on his contract at Villa Park.

Villa boss Steven Gerrard recently revealed that the club are yet to open talks over an extension with Luiz.

Gerrard said: “No, we have not opened contract talks yet with Douglas. I think in this period and in this window (January), it has been the case of trying to strengthen the current squad, make additions and, also, find foundations for some of our younger players in terms of loans.

“Dougie has done OK for us. We’ve been happy with his training level and the performances that he has given.

“We still think that there’s room for him to get better and improve. You know, he had a bit of an injury when we first arrived and we still think there’s another gear or two for Dougie to go into.

“He’s doing us a job as a No.6 at the moment. We know that he maybe prefers to play a bit more advanced but he’s helped us out an awful lot on the back of Nakamba’s injury.

“We rate the player extremely highly and we’re hoping from now until the end of the season, he can really perform at his best and help the team moving forward.”

Arsenal have been linked with a move for Douglas Luiz. (Image: Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images)
Arsenal have been linked with a move for Douglas Luiz

Amid uncertainty over his contract at Villa and where his future may lie, former Premier League striker Kevin Phillips has backed Arsenal to make a move for him at the end of the season.

Speaking to Football Insider, he said: “Luiz is a big player for Aston Villa. I cannot see a situation where Steven Gerrard would let him go, to be honest.

“He probably suits the style of play at Arsenal. Arteta likes them to play out of the back and Luiz likes to get on the ball.

“I think it is something they may reassess in the summer if the player wants to leave.”

Guardiola admiration

Luiz came from Manchester City and in his unsuccessful time at the Etihad Stadium, the Brazilian played under Pep Guardiola, who is clearly still a huge fan of the Villa star and reported Arsenal target.

Speaking about Luiz’s talents in 2020 after a game between Man City and Villa, Guardiola said: “He is a guy who has played a lot of minutes, he is an important player for Aston Villa.

“A guy who is clever with the ball, he is so physical and strong. I am happy he is developing really, really well. Today, when he was involved in the game defensively, he was good.”

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