Dean Smith could lose his beloved Douglas Luiz after reports emerged Serie A heavyweights Juventus have been offered the chance to sign the Aston Villa midfielder.
According to TuttoMercatoWEB, Juve are keen to improve the core of Andrea Pirlo’s side at the Allianz Stadium, feeling the Italy icon has neglected the engine room this year.
Juventus parted ways with Miralem Pjanic and Blaise Matuidi in the summer and are expected to listen to offers for Sami Khedira in January, but without replacing the outcast trio with players who can provide personality, experience or charisma.
Top of Sporting Director Fabio Paratici’s shopping list is Sassuolo’s 22-year-old leader Manuel Locatelli, but a €40million (£36m) asking price has been deemed too extravagant after negotiations in the summer.
Arsenal’s Lucas Torreira, currently on loan with Atletico Madrid, has also been considered but without any enthusiasm, while intermediaries have proposed Luiz as a potential option after impressing with Aston Villa since joining Dean Smith’s side in 2019.
Though a €25m (£22.5m) valuation and Manchester City holding a buy-back clause appears to have resulted in little interest from the Turin outfit, who sit six points behind Serie A leaders AC Milan after nine games.
With it unspecified who put forward Luiz as a potential option to improve Pirlo’s midfield, rumours of the player being touted around to Europe’s elite should spark concern at Villa Park that Smith may soon lose a beloved member of his plans.
Luiz has started all nine of the Villans’ Premier League fixtures thus far this season and opened 28 of 36 appearances last term following a £15m move from Man City, where the five-time Brazil international had never featured in a competitive fixture.
Pep Guardiola’s Sky Blues hold a buy-back clause valued at £30m and could look fondly on the 22-year-old’s form in Birmingham in the future, though Smith noted recently that he does not fear an approach any time soon as he waxed lyrical over the midfielder’s talent.
“He’s done really well for Brazil,” Smith said, via quotes by BirminghamLive. “There’s been talk about a buy-back option. I’m not aware of it, I don’t deal with contracts. I deal with the players.
“What I know is Douglas Luiz is loving his time at Aston Villa and getting better and better. He’s performing very well for Brazil, as well. Long may that continue. Next summer’s a long way off for me, we’ve got 31 games in the Premier League left still so I’m concentrating on that.”
Luiz has averaged 4.3 duels won per Premier League game this season, plus 1.2 interceptions, 0.9 successful tackles, 0.9 clearances, 36.3 accurate passes and been credited with one assist, per SofaScore.