Arsenal are preparing to bid up to £25million for Aston Villa midfielder Douglas Luiz, according to reports.
Mikel Arteta is looking to bolster his midfield following injuries to Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny.
Sambi Lokonga and Granit Xhaka are the club’s only first-team midfielders available to the Spanish manager.
The pair starred for the Gunners in their 2-1 win against Villa on Wednesday night.
Arteta’s side have been heavily linked with Leicester City playmaker Youri Tielemans but have not yet made an official bid to sign the Belgian.
Tielemans – like Luiz – is out of contract in 2023.
Newcastle United are believed to be interested, while Liverpool have also been linked with the player, but the Reds are reportedly close to signing Juventus midfielder Arthur Melo on loan.
Having entered the final 12 months of his deal, Luiz has been linked with a deadline day transfer.
Atletico Madrid, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool are all reportedly keen on signing the Brazilian defensive midfielder.
This has also been confirmed by The Sun and Football London.
It is claimed that Arsenal technical director Edu ‘seriously looked’ at Luiz in January and is now under Arteta’s consideration.
The Gunners are willing to pay up to £25m for the Brazilian.
Fabrizio Romano has now said Arsenal are ‘really trying’ to sign Luiz, with the player ‘keen’ on moving to north London.
Speaking after his side’s 2-1 victory over Villa on Wednesday, Arteta discussed the club’s need to recruit in midfield.
“The club has been super supportive to keep improving the squad and the team as we can,” he said.
“Well, we were pretty protected in that position, and now we are more exposed,” Arteta added. “We have to be prepared for uncertainties, injuries and suspensions. Things like that can happen, especially this season which is going to be really strange with the World Cup. We try to protect from that, but it’s not easy.”
It is believed that Villa have no desire to let Luiz leave on deadline day.
A decent bid could change their stance, however.
The player has only started once this season, with Steven Gerrard preferring Boubacar Kamara.
Following defeat at the Emirates, Gerrard told reporters: “I am not in control of Douglas Luiz situation. We are not in a position where we need to lose our top players — but at the same time he has a year to go.”
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