Mikel Arteta reviews Arsenal's Premier League win over Aston Villa
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Arsenal’s latest offer for Douglas Luiz is thought to have fallen £17million short of Aston Villa’s reported £40m asking price. Having seen a £20m bid for the Brazilian rejected on Thursday morning, the Gunners are understood to have since returned with a second offer worth £23m.
Mikel Arteta has made no secret of the fact he is keen to bolster his midfield this summer and injuries to Mohamed Elneny and Thomas Partey have only made that need more pressing. Arsenal’s search for a man in the middle has since led them to Luiz, however the north Londoners saw a £20m offer for the Villa star rejected on deadline day morning.
The Gunners are thought to have since returned for Luiz but they remain someway short of the Villains’ asking price. According to The Independent, the Emirates outfit have lodged an improved offer of £23m, however that is significantly shy of the £40m Villa are hoping to receive in exchange for the nine-time Brazil international.
Despite their resistance, it is thought the midlands club could agree upon a smaller fee with Arsenal given Luiz has entered the final year of his contract and could walk away for free next summer. There’s a feeling Villa are holding out for a high fee as they intend to exploit the Gunners’ desperation for a midfielder before Thursday’s 11pm deadline.
JUST IN: Arsenal reach Douglas Luiz ‘agreement’ with second deadline day bid
Arteta’s hopes of landing Luiz – a player he knows well from their time together at Manchester City – have been boosted by the fact the 24-year-old is pushing for the move to take place. The midfielder’s eagerness to depart Villa could force them into selling as negotiations continue. Steven Gerrard’s side are also in discussions with Wolves to sign Leander Dendoncker, who could potentially emerge as Luiz’s replacement.
Arsenal were afforded the opportunity to witness first-hand the quality Luiz possesses at the Emirates on Wednesday night. The Villa midfielder scored directly from a corner – for the second time in a matter of weeks – in his current side’s 2-1 defeat to the Gunners.
Arsenal are also understood to have seen an approach for Youri Tielemans rebuffed by Leicester on Wednesday. Foxes boss Brendan Rodgers remains adamant the club will not sanction any more sales this summer with all bids for the Belgian having been dismissed.
Palmeiras starlet Danilo is another midfield option being considered by Arsenal, however the Gunners look set to postpone their effort to sign the Brazilian youngster until January. Palmeiras are currently in the closing stages of their season and could clinch a third successive Copa Libertadores title in the coming weeks.
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