Transfer news expert Fabrizio Romano has named Douglas Luiz as Arsenal's priority midfield transfer target this January, though he also says that Ruben Neves could be an alternative in that area of the pitch.
Speaking exclusively to CaughtOffside for his Daily Briefing column, Romano discussed Arsenal's interest in Luiz, who has impressed a great deal at Aston Villa, with Mikel Arteta clearly a fan of the Brazilian.
However, it's also clear that Arteta has a past interest in Al Hilal star Neves, who previously impressed during his time in the Premier League with Wolves, with Romano explaining that the Gunners boss has discussed his name with director Edu in the past.
With Luiz likely to be difficult to sign from Villa in the middle of the season, Romano has suggested that Neves could be a possible alternative for Arsenal due to their long-standing admiration of the Portugal international.
Douglas Luiz in action for Aston Villa "Ruben Neves continues to be linked with Arsenal, and I think these stories come from the fact that Mikel Arteta has always been a big fan of the player. He has always appreciated him, since he was at Wolves, and his name has come up a few times in recent years whenever Arteta had discussions about targets with Arsenal director Edu," Romano said.
"I think that's why there are these links, but at the moment there are no negotiations, and in fact the dream target for Arsenal in midfield is Douglas Luiz. It's a complicated deal, though, because Aston Villa are having a fantastic season and they don't want to sell an important player like Luiz in January.
"I think it would take very important money to make Villa change their minds about Luiz, so he's Arsenal's dream target - they see him as a perfect midfielder with a big future, but unless they are able to come in with a very big package of money, it's going to be very difficult for them to get this deal done.
More Stories / Latest News "Neves could therefore perhaps be a backup option in case Arsenal can't sign Luiz, but for sure it's going to be an interesting January for Arsenal because of the injury to Thomas Partey."
Arsenal fans will no doubt be keen to see someone come in in that area of the pitch as they've had a few injuries in that department this season, with Thomas Partey barely featuring at all so far this term, while Martin Odegaard has also had some recent issues.