Exclusive – Aston Villa fear they may be on the verge of losing star man Douglas Luiz, with former club Manchester City just one of the sides eyeing a summer move.
Pep Guardiola is a huge fan of the Brazilian midfielder, though he was unable to field Luiz during his time with City as he didn’t qualify for a work permit.
City were eventually forced to cut ties and Luiz signed for Aston Villa in 2019 for £15m, with the big-money transfer enough to earn him a work permit and thus allowed him to play in the Premier League.
Given Guardiola’s admiration for the midfielder, a £25m buy-back clause was included in the deal and 90min understands City are considering triggering the clause once the summer transfer window opens.
The Premier League champions aren’t the only side to have lodged their interest in the Villa man, with recently crowned La Liga winners Atletico Madrid among a number of clubs keen on securing his services.
Due to City’s buy-back clause, any future deal would be a little more complicated than just tabling a bid with Villa directly, and a host of clubs have already contacted City to enquire about making an offer for the 23-year-old.
Dean Smith knows the future of Luiz is essentially out of his hands, though the club do have the option to essentially purchase the buy-back clause off of City.
Villa are now scouring the market for a replacement midfielder as they prepare to lose a man who has become an integral part of their side since moving to the club two years ago.
Luiz’s stellar displays have seen him earn international recognition, having won five caps for Brazil since making his debut for the senior side in 2019.