Douglas Luiz has already made Aston Villa transfer stance clear amid Arsenal midfield plan

Aston Villa midfielder Douglas Luiz
-Credit: (Image: James Baylis - AMA/Getty Images)

Douglas Luiz has rarely looked like a figure who is keen to leave Aston Villa. Now heading into his fifth summer at the club there is still mass speculation around the Brazilian.

Almost ever since his arrival from Manchester City as a little-known midfielder to many he has been linked with a move away. For much of that time, and almost all of the past two years, it has been Arsenal touted as a possible new club for him.

Now, with Villa in the Champions League, there is yet more talk of a possible exit. It is widely suggested that despite Unai Emery's impressive work in charge, the Midlands-based club will need to sell in order to comply with Premier League financial rules.

Arsenal are in the same camp regarding profitability and suitability regulations (PSR) even with the luxuries of top-level European football. But Villa's squad, as Newcastle are also finding out with Bruno Guimaraes and Alexander Isak, is less stacked and squad players are few and far between.

It leaves standout stars like Luiz and Ollie Watkins to be primed for possible exits. However, when it comes to Luiz, he is still enjoying himself at Villa Park. "I am very happy to hear the stories but I am here at Aston Villa," he told Sky Sports earlier this year.

"My focus is totally here. I don't spend a lot of time looking at the stories. I see them, but I don't focus on that and I'm not looking at it every day. My head is here at Aston Villa. It is a club that opened its doors to me when I came to England, so I have a lot of affection and a lot of love for it.

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"I have been here for five years, so I have a big responsibility in our team now. I am one of our captains and that drives me a lot. I know the player I am, and I know the player I can become."

Emery himself is a big fan of his midfield general. "Douglas is playing very good and he improves a lot," the Spaniard said last season. "His commitment is amazing. I am very happy with him and I want to keep him, of course."

At the time Emery was also hopeful of keeping his keystone in the centre of the park. "I think he's happy with us, his commitment with his national team and his performances are amazing, fantastic. I want him."

Luiz appears to reflect that, committing himself to the club in April. "We're all very happy with how this season is going, especially me, with all the history that the club is building and for my goals and assists, too," he told DAZN Portugal.

"Personally, I'm very happy with it all and I think it's just the start of a new chapter. As I always say, Aston Villa is a huge club and we're prepared to write a new chapter."

Luiz added: "Since Unai arrived there was a huge boost in the group's confidence. I think he brought confidence to the team because we always had a good group of players. The squad is pretty much the same, only one or two players were bought in, so I think his work was important for the history that we're writing."

If Arsenal are to finally sign Luiz then it will be quite the coup given how settled he is in claret and blue. However, their desire to bring in a midfielder to partner Declan Rice is clear and Luiz is just one of the many options alongside Martin Zubimendi, Guimaraes, and Amadou Onana.