Aston Villa boss Unai Emery sends transfer message to Arsenal and Man City amid Douglas Luiz interest

Aston Villa midfielder Douglas Luiz has been strongly linked with Arsenal ahead of the January transfer window

Unai Emery has said Douglas Luiz is a very important player who Aston Villa are determined to keep amid reported interest from Arsenal and Manchester City. The Gunners have been strongly linked with the Brazilian who joined Villa from Man City in the summer of 2019.

The 25-year-old has taken his performances to the next level since Emery's arrival with the Spaniard getting the best out of the midfielder who is under contract at Villa Park until the summer of 2026. Arsenal have held a long-term interest in the player and attempted to sign him in the summer of 2022 but saw three deadline day bids rejected by Villa, with the highest coming in at £25m.

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Luiz was in the final season of his contract at the time but signed a new deal last October, meaning a fee much larger than £25m will be required for Villa to consider a parting of ways.

The midfielder provided an assist on Sunday afternoon as Villa came from behind to defeat Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 in North London. He already has five goals in 13 Premier League appearances, alongside two assists. His tally across all competitions is six goals and three assists.

Speaking about Luiz, ex-Gunners boss Emery said after Sunday's win, via the Express and Star: “Douglas is playing very good and he improves a lot. His commitment is amazing. I am very happy with him and I want to keep him, of course. I think he’s happy with us, his commitment with his national team and his performances like today are amazing, fantastic. I want him.”

The win over Spurs moved Villa into fourth, just two points behind Arsenal who top the table following their 1-0 win at Brentford on Saturday evening. Man City are a point behind in second with Liverpool two points back in third after the two sides played out a 1-1 draw in the early kick-off at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

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