Aston Villa and Brazil midfielder Douglas Luiz has reportedly told friends that he is keen to leave the club, despite a failed bid coming in for the Brazilian on deadline day.
That is according to Football Insider, which has been informed by sources of Luiz’s desire to swap Villa Park for the Emirates Stadium in the next year.
According to the same outlet, Villa had given him the green light to leave the West Midlands giants for Arsenal on deadline day if the club could reach an agreement on a £30m deal.
Meanwhile, Luiz had also been linked to moves to Liverpool, Chelsea and Atlético Madrid on deadline day, but nothing came of a transfer and the midfielder remained at Villa Park following the deadline.
With just one year remaining on the 24-year-old’s contract, we took a look at two potential knock-on effects that could happen if the Brazilian left Villa Park over the next 12 months.
Opportunity for youngsters to develop
Despite the obvious blow that would be dealt to Steven Gerrard’s side if the club were to lose the services of Luiz in January or next summer, it would certainly provide the former Rangers manager with an opportunity to blood some of Villa’s highly rated young talents in the first team.
After winning the 2021 FA Youth Cup, the upcoming generation of talent in the Villa academy could well make a name for themselves in the senior side over the coming years.
At the time of writing, it looks like two of the standout talents for a spot in the middle of the park are both currently enjoying spells on loan in the Championship, with Tim Iroegbunam at Queens Park Rangers and Jacob Ramsey’s younger brother, Aaron, at Norwich City.
The former made his first QPR appearance in last weekend’s 1-0 defeat at Swansea City, whilst Ramsey has already made eight appearances for the Canaries, providing two assists in that time, according to Transfermarkt.
We therefore think that whilst the club would be disappointed to lose the services of Luiz, the long-term future of Villa’s midfield remains in good hands through their talented academy prospects.
Club may struggle to sign adequate replacement
The biggest problem amid the current Luiz saga at Villa is that the club now have to either tie the nine-time Brazil international down to a new contract or work out whether they’re prepared to sell the midfielder in January for a cheaper fee. Otherwise, they risk letting him leave for nothing at the end of the season.
If the former Girona loanee hasn’t signed a new deal at Villa Park by the time January comes around, he will be free to sign a pre-contract with clubs from abroad, which could prove to be a further problem for Villa.
Therefore, if the club don’t want to lose the midfielder on a free next summer, they will have to negotiate what is likely to be a cut-price fee with a Premier League club in January – likely to be less than the £30m the club demanded this summer.
We think that the most likely outcome is that Arsenal will try and make a move for Luiz in January at a price Villa may have no choice but to accept.
Will Villa be in a position to demand a higher fee in January? Only time will tell. But it does seem as though Luiz’s days at Villa are numbered – and the reports to emerge since the closure of the transfer window indeed suggest that the club’s focus should be arranging a solution that works best for all parties.