Arsenal linked with surprise transfer for Aston Villa star amid Arthur Melo blow

The Gunners are targeting midfield cover before deadline day.

Arsenal have been linked with a number of midfielders during the January transfer window.

According to the Daily Express, Arsenal’s board reportedly turn down the chance to sign Juventus’ Arthur Melo on loan and are now looking elsewhere.

In their bid to secure a midfield signing in the coming days, Mikel Arteta has turned his attentions to Aston Villa’s Douglas Luiz.

The Daily Express reported that the Brazilian is now the Gunners’ primary target after missing out on another midfield option in Lyon’s Bruno Guimaraes.

The Premier League club are searching for a physical figure in the middle of the park and Douglas Luiz could be the perfect signing.

The 23-year-old joined Aston Villa from Manchester City in 2019 and has since been a constant in their starting line-up.

He has hugely impressed in the Premier League in recent years and has previously attracted interest from a number of clubs.

Luiz’s form now means Steven Gerrard’s side face a tough test in keeping him at Villa Park for the remainder of the season.

Villa will definitely be reluctant to part ways with the Brazil international - especially with limited time to find a suitable replacement.

Luiz - who joined the West Midlands club for around £15 million - will be out of contract in the summer of 2023.

With clubs expressing interest in the midfielder earlier this season, Il Romanista claimed that Villa had slapped a €35 million price tag on their star’s head back in November.

Given how late it is in the window, it is likely Aston Villa would ask for a lot more from Arsenal if they were to even consider his departure.

The likes of Newcastle United and Roma have previously monitored the 23-year-old, but he is yet to be tempted by a switch away.

The arrival of Gerrard is likely to play a big part in Luiz remaining with the club and it could prove a very difficult task for the Gunners to pursuade him to make the move down south.