Steven Gerrard provides update on Douglas Luiz amid transfer speculation

Steven Gerrard has hinted he could be powerless to prevent Douglas Luiz from leaving Aston Villa on transfer deadline day.

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The Brazil international midfielder has just a year left to run on his current contract and with no signs of progress being made on a new deal, the struggling Midlands club could be forced to sell one of their prize assets at a discount price.

Villa’s miserable start to the new season continued last night after Arsenal extended their winning run to five matches thanks to Gabriel Martinelli’s winning goal.

Luiz started the match on the bench, but looked to have earned his side a point with a freak goal, direct from a corner.

Speaking about the 24-year-old’s future after the game, Gerrard said: ‘I am not in control of that. That will be Douglas, his agent and what happens around that.

‘I would like to keep him. I think he is in a fantastic player. I have made that abundantly clear.

‘We are not in a position where we need to lose our top players but at the same time Douglas has a year to go.

‘It is one of those really touchy situations where the club has to do what is best for the club, not necessarily what is best for me.’

Villa’s hopes of keeping the former Manchester City player haven’t been helped by the increasing need for reinforcements of several heavyweight clubs.

Mikel Arteta is known to be a huge admirer of Luiz’s and with Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny set for extended periods on the sidelines, the Gunners are set to make a renewed effort to strengthen their engine room.

Speaking after last night’s victory, the Arsenal manager said: ‘Obviously, it has an impact because Thomas [Partey] is injured and we are a bit short in that position.

‘We have Sambi and Granit can play there but we are looking at options in the market. The club has been super supportive to keep improving the squad and the team as we can, and if the right player is available and we can do it, we will try.’

According to Sky Sports, one Premier League club is set to make a £20million bid for Luiz with Chelsea and Liverpool both understood to be interested.

Chelsea’s need for a new midfielder has increased following N’Golo Kante’s latest injury setback, while Jurgen Klopp recently admitted his plans had changed following an indifferent start to the new campaign.

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