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Barcelona join race to sign top Arsenal target in January

Barcelona have joined the race to sign exceptional midfielder who is a prime target for Arsenal in January

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Image credit: Getty Images

Barcelona have joined the race to sign Aston Villa midfielder Douglas Luiz who is also a target for Arsenal in the January transfer window.

The 25-year-old has long been on Arsenal’s radar, who saw three bids rejected by Aston Villa in the final hours of last year’s summer transfer window. However, Luiz’s continuous improvement under Unai Emery has piqued the interest of several European clubs, complicating Arsenal’s pursuit.

While Arsenal remains interested in the former Manchester City midfielder and might make another bid in January, Luiz has garnered attention from other European suitors, raising doubts about the Gunners’ ability to secure a deal.

Spanish outlet Sport reports that Barcelona’s sporting director Deco holds admiration for Luiz and views him as the ideal successor to Sergio Busquets, who departed the Catalan giants in the summer. 

READ MORE: Thierry Henry is very impressed with Arsenal transfer target who is better than Ivan Toney

Douglas Luiz

Aston Villa midfielder, Douglas Luiz is a target for Arsenal ahead of the January transfer window (Image credit: Getty Images)

Barcelona values Luiz at €60 million (£52.1 million), but Villa’s sporting director Monchi could demand as much as €100 million (£86.9 million) due to Luiz’s new long-term contract signed in October.

Luiz’s stellar performances for Aston Villa this season have been remarkable, with the club currently sitting in third place, trailing Premier League leaders Liverpool by just three points ahead of the final fixtures in 2023.

His impressive development hasn’t escaped the notice of Arsenal manager, Mikel Arteta, who is eager to strengthen the squad in January. While defensive reinforcements remain a priority, Arteta’s wish list also includes a new central midfielder and a No.9.

Arsenal’s pursuit of Luiz intensified last summer following injuries to key midfielders Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny. However, time constraints hindered negotiations, leading to Luiz signing a new contract with Villa.

Reflecting on the failed bids, Arteta highlighted the challenges faced in securing signings within a tight timeframe. “We pushed to strengthen the team and bring the best possible people and players to this football club. We have managed to a certain level. Time was a big limitation with what happened in the last 72 hours in our midfield,” Arteta stated in September 2022.

NEXT ARTICLE: Arsenal in advanced talks to sign £50million highly-rated defender in January

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