Monday, December 4, 2023

Arsenal target Douglas Luiz explains decision to snub transfer for new contract

Related stories


Douglas Luiz signed a new contract at Aston Villa because he ‘loves’ his colleagues and feels ‘comfortable’ at the midlands club.

The Brazil international, 24, was the subject of multiple deadline day offers from Premier League leaders Arsenal – which were rejected by Villa – and his previous contract was due to expire in June, potentially allowing him to join the Gunners on a free transfer next summer.

Yet Luiz has decided to commit his future to Villa by putting pen to paper on a new “long-term” contract. The defensive midfielder has been a crucial player for Villa since he was signed from Manchester City in the summer of 2019, playing 111 Premier League games.

“I’m so happy,” Luiz told Villa’s website. “I’m so happy in this club and I love this club. I love the people here, the staff and the players. I’m so comfortable here and I’m so happy.”

Luiz added: “I love this club. This club opened the door for me when I came to England to play in the Premier League. I’m so happy because I’m staying here and my choice is here.”

Luiz joined City from Brazilian club Vasco da Gama in the summer of 2017 but never made a senior outing under Pep Guardiola after failing to gain a work permit. He spent his two years as a City player on loan at Girona, playing 38 La Liga games.

Villa manager Steven Gerrard is yet to comment on Luiz’s new contract but did express a desire to keep him after his proposed move to Arsenal fell through. He told reporters last month: “I have confidence that he’ll understand the situation and the club’s decision that we didn’t want to lose a very important player and a top player so late in the window.

“From a personal point of view I very much back the club’s decision and stance on that. I spoke to Dougie yesterday on that and he understood where it was at and the position that the club was in and very much respects the decision. Hopefully it’ll calm down in the hours and days coming and he’ll be fine moving forward.”

Speaking on the same day, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta expressed his disappointment at failing to sign Luiz. The Gunners do need to strengthen in midfield after losing Mohamed Elneny to injury. Thomas Partey has also struggled with injuries in recent months.

When asked about Luiz, Arteta said: “Listen, we had a lot of things still to do in the squad. You see the amount of departures comparing to the players that we have recruited.

“The club has done a phenomenal job and put everything on the table to try to bring the players and the profiles we wanted. We did business pretty early but unfortunately in the last 72 hours [of the window], Thomas got injured in the same place he got injured last time and then Mo has a long-term injury and we had to react in the market.

“We tried but at the end of the day, we have to bring the player that we feel is the right player for the team and as well for the club and we didn’t manage to do that.”

Latest stories