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Steven Gerrard comments back up Arsenal’s late January transfer window plan

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is hoping to conduct some transfer business over the final week of the window, with both a striker and a centre midfielder believed to be on the radar

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Arteta gives update on Arsenal’s transfer plans ahead of Deadline Day

Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard has admitted the club have yet to open contract talks with Douglas Luiz, with Arsenal expected to ‘firm up’ their interest this week.

Mikel Arteta is in the market for another midfielder, with Albert Sambi Lokonga still developing and Granit Xhaka continuing his trend of maddening inconsistency.

Therefore, the Gunners boss would like a long-term option to play alongside Thomas Partey at the base of his midfield and Luiz is believed to be on the radar.

Signed from Manchester City in 2019, the Brazilian has made 86 appearances for Villa, making him the club’s second highest appearance maker since winning promotion back to the top-flight.

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Aston Villa midfielder Douglas Luiz is believed to be a target for Arsenal

Luiz’s current contract expires at the end of next season and there has been speculation that could be extended to secure his future.

However, Gerrard has revealed those talks are on hold, with all of their focus on incomings and finding homes for some of their younger talents.

The former Liverpool talisman has also pointed to Luiz’s ability to play both as a traditional holding midfielder and as a No.8, backing up why he has been earmarked by Gunners chiefs.

“No, we haven’t opened contract talks yet with Douglas,” Gerrard confirmed. “I think in this period and in this window, it has been the case of trying to strengthen the current squad, make additions and, also, find destinations for some of our younger players in terms of loans.

“Dougie has done OK for us. We’ve been happy with his training level and the performances that he has given.

“We still think that there’s room for him to get better and improve. You know, he had a bit of an injury when we first arrived and we still think there’s another gear or two for Dougie to go into.

“He’s doing us a job as a No.6 at the moment. We know that he maybe prefers to play a bit more advanced but he’s helped us out an awful lot on the back of Nakamba’s injury.

“We rate the player extremely high and we’re hoping from now until the end of the season, he can really perform at his best and help the team moving forward.”

Steven Gerrard has admitted Villa are yet to open talks with Luiz over a new contract
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According to Birmingham Live Arsenal are set to firm up their interest in Luiz with the expectation they could table a concrete offer before next Monday’s deadline.

Lyon’s Bruno Guimaraes was another player linked with a move to the Emirates, but the €45million bid launched by Newcastle United was always more than the club were willing to shell out.

Along with Luiz, it is believed that Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves and Youri Tielemans are also on a list of potential targets.

Arteta met with owner Stan Kroenke in America on Wednesday, shortly before he flew out to Dubai to join his squad for their mid-season training camp.

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