Arsenal have secret weapon to help secure major discount in £60m Douglas Luiz transfer


Arsenal continue to be linked with a January transfer for Aston Villa midfielder Douglas Luiz. The Gunners are short of options in the centre of the park, with Thomas Partey set to be sidelined for the remainder of 2023 after undergoing a procedure, understands.

Luiz is a name that has constantly been mooted as a potential target for Mikel Arteta's side over the last couple of years and transfer guru Fabrizio Romano has recently reported that the Brazilian international remains on the north London club's shortlist ahead of the winter window. It remains to be seen how much Unai Emery's men would want for Luiz, with former Villa striker Gabriel Agbonlahor claiming that he could be worth around £60million last year.

Speaking to Football Insider, Agbonlahor said: "Let’s be honest, Douglas Luiz wanted to leave Aston Villa because Arsenal bid and the club didn't accept it. Douglas Luiz was in a great position as his contract was up in the summer.

"Sometimes contracts can hide what is really going on. In the summer, Luiz might go but instead of £20million it might be £50million or £60million.

"The position he's in, he's laughing because he's got his wages up high. I think it suits both the club and the player, to be honest."

That is a steep fee indeed for Arsenal considering they splashed in excess of £200million during the most recent summer window. But one way they could get Luiz's price down is by offering a player-plus-cash deal instead.

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Someone who could be of interest to Emery and Co is Hale End academy graduate Emile Smith Rowe, who made his Gunners debut during the Spaniard's time at the Emirates Stadium. Villa have previously made a move for Smith Rowe too, trying to sign the versatile midfielder a little over two years ago.

"He's a good footballer! I think everyone can see that," former Villa head coach Dean Smith said when asked about his pursuit of the England international back in 2021.

"He decided to stay at Arsenal. Arsenal's a big football club in its own right. He's a good player and we want good players at this football club."

But since then, Smith Rowe has fallen down the pecking order in north London, finding himself behind the likes of Kai Havertz and Martin Odegaard. Recently, the 23-year-old had started his first Premier League match in over 500 days, providing an assist during a 5-0 victory over Sheffield United.

However, he then picked up a knee injury that has left him sidelined in recent weeks, another frustrating blow for the former RB Leipzig loanee, who has been plagued with several fitness issues over the last two seasons. Arsenal WhatsApp channel

Mikel Arteta celebrates Arsenal's recent Premier League victory over Manchester City

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