Chelsea are among a number of clubs interested in a January swoop for Aston Villa midfield anchor Douglas Luiz, who is out of contract at Villa Park next summer.

Chelsea have entered the race to sign Aston Villa midfielder Douglas Luiz. That’s according to the Birmingham Mail, who claim the Blues are keen on a cut-price January move for the Brazilian playmaker as notorious Barcelona yet again turn to Stamford Bridge for a Sergio Busquets replacement.

The 24-year-old was signed from Vasco Da Gama by Manchester City in 2017 before being immediately loaned out to one of their sister clubs, Girona, in La Liga. The Brazilian joined the West Midlands club for a fee of £15 million from the Citizens despite never making an appearance for the reigning English Champions.

Luiz has been a mainstay in the Lions’ first team over the last few years, racking up 118 competitive appearances for the Midlands side, scoring seven goals in the process from his holding midfield role. He mostly operated as a solo defensive midfielder and sometimes as the lynchpin in a double pivot, making recent headlines for scoring from corner kicks.

Luiz was extensively linked with a move away from Villa Park at the end of the summer transfer window, with Arsenal reportedly making three bids, including a final £25 million offer, on the deadline day that fell short of the £40 million valuation slapped on his proverbial head by Aston Villa, who refused to budge on deadline day despite the fact he could leave for free next summer.

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The former Girona starlet will be free to negotiate pre-contract agreements with overseas clubs from January onwards if the Brazilian decides not to renew his contract with Aston Villa, who have already signed his replacement in the form of Belgium international Leander Dendoncker last summer.

He will be available at a cut-price deal in January as Villa look to avoid losing him on a free transfer at the end of the season, with a host of Premier League top guns, including Arsenal and Liverpool, interested in securing his services. Now, Chelsea have joined their top-flight rivals in the race to sign the Aston Villa midfielder.

Now under the stewardship of former Brighton & Hove Albion head coach Graham Potter, the Blues could look to rejuvenate their midfield, with Jorginho and N’Golo Kante both well into their thirties and out of contract in 2023.

Mateo Kovacic has been struggling with injury problems and Jorginho has been linked with a Bosman transfer to Barcelona, who are searching the market for a successor to legend Sergio Busquets after the Spaniard announced his Camp Nou exit ahead of joining MLS side Inter Miami next season.

Both Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Conor Gallagher have lacked consistency, while Denis Zakaria has yet to make his debut for the club. In short, Potter needs to bring in a new midfielder to bolster his midfield roster, and Aston Villa’s well-rounded midfielder, Douglas Luiz, could be a decent option.

It will be a more cost-effective option than making Zakaria’s loan move permanent or chasing Ajax’s Edson Alvarez, who is bound to cost an arm and a leg but comes with zero Premier League experience. It remains to be seen whether Chelsea will ramp up their interest in Luiz when the January transfer window rolls around.

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