Exclusive: Arsenal ‘really, really want’ target says Fabrizio Romano

Though they’ve begun the first part of the 2023/24 season well, Mikel Arteta is clearly intent on ensuring Arsenal continue to bring in the best talent to push the team forward.

The Spaniard almost brought the Premier League title back to the Emirates Stadium last season, and with the end of the current campaign being the 20th anniversary of the Invincibles season – the last time the Gunners won the English top-flight title – the narrative is already there for the football romantics.

With the January transfer window on the horizon, Arteta will be hopeful of making a splash in the transfer market again, with one player above all others on his radar.

However, as Fabrizio Romano noted, speaking to CaughtOffside for his exclusive Daily Briefing column, it’s not an easy deal to do:

“I mentioned the name of Douglas Luiz last week as the top target for Arsenal, and I can confirm guys that Arsenal really, really want and appreciate Douglas Luiz.

“He’s a player they’ve had on their list for more than two years, and Arsenal consider him the perfect midfielder for their way of playing, for his intensity and for the quality he can bring.

“So many different factors make him top of the list for Arsenal now.

“The problem remains that Aston Villa have no intention to let him go in January, so it’s going to be really difficult.”

The player’s will is likely to ultimately decide which way this particular pursuit will go.

Aston Villa certainly don’t need to sell Douglas Luiz, and given their own start to the campaign, Unai Emery could legitimately claim, at this stage, that the Villains can meet the player’s own aspirations.

Were Douglas Luiz to tell Villa that he wants the move, it changes the dynamic entirely. Whether Arsenal would then want to meet Villa’s valuation of their player during the season is a moot point.

If it doesn’t happen in January, there appears to be a feeling of inevitability that something could occur in the future.

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