POSSIBLE DEAL? Arsenal tipped to complete £60m transfer after key contract decision
Arsenal have been tipped to complete the signing of midfielder Douglas Luiz, despite the player signing a new long-term deal at Aston Villa.
The Gunners had three Deadline Day bids rejected by Steven Gerrard’s side. The Brazilian was identified as a replacement for the injured Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny. Despite the player reportedly keen on the move to the capital, Luiz signed a new deal at Villa Park last week.
Luiz’s previous contract in the West Midlands was set to expire next summer, meaning Villa would be faced with the tough decision of whether to inherit cash in a deal in the January window or risk losing him on a free transfer. Now, after signing an extension until 2026, the Gunners will now have to fork out more than the £25 million offered in the summer.
However, former Villa striker Gabby Agbonlahor has tipped Mikel Arteta’s side to make a new move for the 24-year-old next summer and has doubted the player’s commitment to his former side.
“Let’s be honest, Douglas Luiz wanted to leave Aston Villa because Arsenal bid and the club didn’t accept it,” Agbonlahor told Football Insider.
“Douglas Luiz was in a great position as his contract was up in the summer.
“Sometimes, as a club, you have no choice. Even if you didn’t want to give the player a new contract, you are in the position where you have to give him a new contract, or he leaves on a free.
“Douglas Luiz would have been paid very, very good wages to commit to signing it.
“He’s done OK, but I don’t think, to be honest, he signed the contract because he’s totally committed to Aston Villa. I think he signed the contract because he got the wages he wanted, and he worked it well for himself.
“If Villa had accepted the bid from Arsenal, he would have left without looking back. It suits him, and it suits Villa. They’ve got him tied down, so they can’t lose him on the cheap. It might come to the summer when they decide to sell him, and Arsenal will have to pay more.
“Sometimes contracts can hide what is really going on. In the summer, Luiz might go, but instead of £20 million, it might be £50 million or £60 million.
“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.”
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