Serie A giants Roma are planning a January bid for Aston Villa’s Premier League enforcer Douglas Luiz and could sell Amadou Diawara to raise funds, as reported by Calciomercato.
Dean Smith’s Midland giants have just come out of one transfer saga and it seems they could already be hurtling towards another.
It is no secret that Roma want a new defensive midfielder and, after failing to meet Arsenal’s demands for the card-collecting, controversy-courting enigma that is Granit Xhaka, Brazil international Luiz now appears to have emerged as the number one target.
And if Aston Villa’s opening day defeat to Watford in August is anything to go by, life without the former Manchester City youngster doesn’t bare thinking about.
Could Douglas Luiz follow Jack Grealish out of Aston Villa?
Villa were all at sea in Luiz’s Olympics-enforced absence, out-thought and out-fought in central midfield as they found themselves on the wrong end of a 3-2 scoreline which flattered the visitors rather than Xisco Munoz’s Hornets.
It is no coincidence that Aston Villa have looked much more secure – during an impressive victory over Newcastle and a draw away at Brentford – with Luiz back in his tempo-setting, ankle-biting number six role.
According to the Birmingham Mail, Aston Villa value the 23-year-old in excess of £30 million. And, as they showed during Manchester City’s summer-long pursuit of captain fantastic Jack Grealish, Villa will not be bullied into selling a key player for less than his market value.
It’s not as if they club need to sell either. In Nayef Sawiris and Wes Edens, some of the most ambitious, deep-pocketed owners in British football are pulling the strings on Trinity Road these days.
Roma will test that resolve, however, particularly if the Giallorossi are able to raise funds by selling the out-of-favour £18 million bench-warmer Amadou Diawara during the winter window.
Given that Diawara has already been rejected by both Arsenal and Wolves, according to Siamo Roma, doing so may be easier said than done.