Aston Villa midfielder Douglas Luiz could find himself at the centre of a transfer tug-of-war this summer, with Liverpool and Barcelona both reportedly now weighing up a move for the Brazilian.
Arsenal are known to have been long-term admirers of the Brazilian, but his recent form has attracted new interest from both Anfield and the Catalan capital.
Despite initial speculation about a potential January transfer, a report from Football Insider suggests that the 25-year-old won't be on the move this month. Instead, the interested clubs are reportedly turning their focus towards a summer swoop for the talented midfielder.
Though Liverpool underwent a midfield revamp in the summer, bringing in Alexis Mac Allister, Dominik Szoboszlai, Wataru Endo and Ryan Gravenberch, with Thiago Alcantara's contract set to expire in the summer, the Reds would need a further body to bolster their engine room.
However, Barcelona, too, are looking to strengthen in midfield as they look to turn their fortunes around under the management of Xavi.
That said, this also comes against the backdrop of Arsenal's historic interest in the player. With Thomas Partey's injury struggles and Jorginho failing to convince, the Gunners are set to step up their pursuit once again after facing multiple rejections during the summer of 2022.
An upturn in form
The Brazilian's game has stepped up significantly since the arrival of Unai Emery at Villa Park, leading to both Premier League and La Liga giants expressing interest in securing his signature.
Aston Villa, currently enjoying a successful campaign in the Premier League, may face a battle to retain Luiz when the summer transfer window opens. With just two years remaining on his contract in June, the Midlands club could be under pressure to secure a deal that keeps the influential midfielder at Villa Park.
Douglas Luiz has been in stellar form this season, contributing seven goals and six assists in 30 appearances across all competitions. His standout performances have played a crucial role in Aston Villa's surprising title push, with the club currently sitting level on points with second-placed Manchester City.
Having arrived at Villa Park in 2019 after departing the Etihad, Luiz has racked up 181 appearances for the club, tallying an impressive record of 19 goals and 20 assists.
With Liverpool currently leading the Premier League at 45 points, Aston Villa in third, and Arsenal in fourth, the race for Douglas Luiz's signature promises to be a key subplot in the upcoming transfer window.