Arsenal could now sign Douglas Luiz for less than half £40m asking price after failed bids

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Arsenal’s failure to land Aston Villa midfielder Douglas Luiz on deadline day could serve as a blessing in disguise for the Gunners, who might be able to snap him up for a nominal fee in the not-too-distant future. Arsenal tried hard to strike a last-minute deal with Villa for the services of Luiz, who is only tied down to the west Midlands outfit until the end of the current season.

As many as three unsuccessful bids were tabled by Arsenal as the clock ticked down to Thursday’s all-important deadline, with the north Londoners ultimately being forced to accept defeat in their efforts to bring Luiz to the Emirates Stadium. They could well decide to go back in for the Brazilian midfielder when the transfer window re-opens in January, though, and may even reap the rewards of waiting until the new year to revisit their pursuit of his signature.

Luiz was understood to have been eager to join Arsenal and was said to have agreed personal terms with the Gunners in spite of Villa’s reluctance to sell him. His current employers were determined to hold out for a fee of £40million in order to let him go, but no such bid arrived and he was forced to stay put as a result.

However, Arsenal may be able to poach Luiz for a significantly reduced price in January if he decides against signing a new contract with Villa over the coming months. The mid-season window will represent Villa’s final chance to cash in on the player before he is free to walk away at the end of his contract in a year’s time.

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It seems unlikely that Luiz will be tempted to extend his stay at Villa Park in the near future after being denied the chance to join Arsenal before the close of play on Thursday. He reportedly pushed hard for the move after learning of Mikel Arteta’s interest in snapping him up but was eventually made to remain with his current club in spite of his desire to leave.

The Gunners were hopeful that Villa would soften their stance against selling Luiz after landing Wolves midfielder Leander Dendoncker, who many have tipped to serve as the former’s direct replacement. However, it seems as though a cut-price move in January will be at the top of Arsenal’s priority list for the next few months with the summer transfer window finally done and dusted.

Meanwhile, Villa boss Steven Gerrard hinted at the possibility of Luiz leaving the club when quizzed on the situation ahead of deadline day but insisted that his own preference would be to keep the midfielder around until at least the end of the season.

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“I am not in control of that, that will be Douglas, his agent and what happens around that,” said Gerrard after Wednesday’s defeat at the hands of Arsenal.

“I would like to keep him. I think he is a fantastic player, I have made that abundantly clear. We are not in a position where we need to lose our top players but at the same time Douglas has a year to go.

“It is one of those really touchy situations where the club has to do what is best for the club, not necessarily what is best for me.”

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