Juventus make their move for Aston Villa fan favourite

Italian giants Juventus have made their first move in an attempt to sign Aston Villa midfielder Douglas Luiz.
Aston Villa v Olympiacos FC: Semi-final First Leg - UEFA Europa Conference League 2023/24
Aston Villa v Olympiacos FC: Semi-final First Leg - UEFA Europa Conference League 2023/24 / Neville Williams/GettyImages

As reported by Fabrizio Romano, Juventus have made contact with Aston Villa to discuss a deal that would see Douglas Luiz swap claret and blue for black and white.

Romano claims that there is ongoing negotiations involving Samuel Lling Jr and Weston McKennie heading to Villa park in return for Villa's midfield maestro. Luiz, who scored 9 goals and claimed 6 assists last season, is reported to be happy at Villa Park following qualification for the Champions League next season.

Douglas Luiz
Aston Villa v Nottingham Forest - Premier League / Catherine Ivill/GettyImages

However, with Villa needing to sell in order to comply with PSR financial rules it is looking increasingly likely that Luiz will leave the club and join the Serie A club. Following Villa's proposal to allow Premier League club an extra £30 million worth of wriggle room for account losses being rejected, Villa are now in a position where a big sale is likely needed before 30th June.

Italian football journalist Gianluca Di Marzio has also claimed that a deal is looking increasingly likely as Juventus have initially offered 20 million euros plus McKennie and lling Junior.

Douglas Luiz signed for Aston Villa from Manchester City in July 2019 and has gone on to make 175 appearances for the club, scoring 20 goals. Luiz has certainly had his ups and downs at Villa and struggled for form under previous boss Steven Gerrard. Even under Dean Smith prior to Gerrard, Luiz showed glimpses of his capabilities but struggled with the responsibility given to him to control the midfield area. However, since Unai Emery's arrival at Villa Luiz has gone on to become one of Villa's most important players and as a result has caught the eye of Juventus and fellow English club Arsenal.

Arsenal have attempted to sign Luiz previously and he remains a long-term target for the North London outfit. It has previously been reported that Arsenal would be willing to offer around £50 million to secure the signing of Luiz but so far nothing has come of that.

The reports of a swap deal with Juventus has not gone down well with the Villa fan base. Luiz has become a real fan favourite at Villa Park following two incredible seasons that saw him pick up Players' and Supporters' Player of the Season at the end of Emery's first year at the club. He has also shown a growing connection with the fans with examples like singing along with the crowd during the win over Wolves earlier this season.

Unai Emery has been keen to highlight Luiz's power and influence in the Villa team and has shown to be very demanding of his midfielder. Often Emery approaches Luiz when there are breaks in play as he wants the game and Villa's attack to run through him. Talking in May, as reported by Jacob Tanswell and Mark Carey for The Athletic, Emery had this to say about the importance of Luiz:

"Luiz is progressing a lot as a midfielder. He is adding goals and getting into the box. Being demanding with him is always my challenge. His commitment to the team is increasing and I like how he’s been, not only in matches but when he’s training. I want to watch players performing in each practice, trying to improve and learn."

In the eyes of most Villa fans, including myself, the quality that Luiz has is not matched by the two players mentioned as part of the Juventus deal and fans are worried that Monchi and the Villa staff are making an error of judgement should they accept the proposal reported by Di Marzio.

Meanwhile, the signing of Ross Barkley is likely to be confirmed at the start of July whilst Villa reportedly remain interested in signing Chelsea midfielder Conor Gallagher. Matteo Guendouzi is another name that is being heavily linked with Villa this summer. Villa target Mario Hermoso appears to be close to signing for Napoli.