Douglas Luiz has insisted that he is ‘100% focused’ on Aston Villa despite being denied a move to Arsenal in the latter stages of the summer transfer window.
The Gunners are believed to have made at least two bids for the Brazilian on deadline day, the last of which was said to be in the region of £25m, but Villa signalled that they were not prepared to let him leave.
Luiz took to social media ahead of Saturday’s Premier League clash with Manchester City to insist that he is ‘100% focused’ at Villa Park.
The midfielder wrote on Instagram: “100% focused here! @avfcofficial.”
Villa boss Steven Gerrard also has no doubts that the South American, who is in the starting XI against the champions in Saturday’s late start, will remain focused on the task at hand.
“Knowing the boy and the player, I doubt it. I’ve got confidence 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 on in the window,” Gerrard told reporters.
“From a personal point of view, I very much back the club’s decision and stance on that. I spoke to Dougie face-to-face yesterday, he understood where it was at and the position that the club was in, and he very much respects the decision.
“Hopefully, it’ll calm down in the hours and days coming, and he’ll be fine moving forward.”
Meanwhile, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta revealed that his side “had to react” in the latter stages of the summer market due to injuries but were unable to get a deal over the line.
“We had a lot of things still to do in the squad. The club has done a phenomenal job of bringing in players that we wanted,” Arteta told reporters.
“Unfortunately, in the last 72 hours, Thomas [Partey] and Mohamed [Elneny] got injured, and we had to react in the market. We tried, and at the end of the day, we have to bring in the players we feel are right, but we didn’t manage to do it.”
Luis’s long-term future at Villa Park is far from certain, though, with the South American’s contract due to expire next June.
As a result, the midfielder will be able to hold talks with foreign clubs in January, and the likes of Atletico Madrid and Juventus are believed to be keeping a close eye on any developments.
Luiz has made five appearances for Gerrard’s side during the 2022-23 campaign, contributing two goals in the process.