BBC: Roma interested in Aston Villa midfielder Douglas Luiz

Roma have reportedly identified Aston Villa midfielder Douglas Luiz as a possible alternative to top transfer target and Arsenal ace Granit Xhaka.

Jose Mourinho is currently preparing for his first season in charge of the Serie A giants, and will no doubt hope to stamp his mark on the squad this summer.

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It appears as though bolstering his midfield options in the Italian capital will be a priority, with BBC Sport reporting that Roma have had a bid worth €15m rejected for Xhaka by Arsenal.

From a Villa perspective, the concerning aspect of the report is the part which suggests that Luiz is also a potential target for Roma, and so if they fail to prise Xhaka away from north London, that could lead to their focus significantly switching towards the Brazilian international.

Luiz, 23, has been a pivotal figure for Villa since joining the club, making 76 appearances as he has firmly established himself as a key cog in Dean Smith’s starting XI.

Villa will be looking to strengthen their options in that department this summer rather than become weaker, but time will tell if Luiz is keen on a switch to Roma to work under Mourinho next season instead.

While Smith will arguably be aware of the need to bring in more quality in midfield to complement the likes of Luiz, John McGinn and Marvelous Nakamba, he’ll hope to be able to keep his Brazilian ace and improve around him rather than have to fill the void that he would leave behind if he did indeed depart.

It had seemed Villa would be able to escape speculation over Luiz’s future this summer after Manchester City’s buy-back clause expired without the Premier League champions exercising their option, but now it appears as though a new threat has emerged to prise him away from Villa Park in the coming months.