Arsenal midfielder Emile Smith Rowe “could be offered” to Aston Villa in a part exchange offer for Douglas Luiz, according to TMW.
The Italian website claims that Luiz is of “great interest” to the Gunners and they may be willing to let Smith Rowe go in the other direction to secure the Brazilian’s signature.
It is believed that manager Mikel Arteta has made signing a midfielder a top priority for the January transfer window, and Luiz has been a long-term target for the London club.
Last year, three bids were lodged by Arsenal for the 25-year-old; the last of which was worth around £25m.
However, since then, Luiz has signed a new contract and reports now suggest that Villa have placed a £60m asking price on the player.
A swap deal would get around Financial Fair Play rules
The Gunners will head into the next transfer window with a very limited ability to spend money. They were forced into signing David Raya on an initial loan deal as FFP rules would not allow them to shell out another £30m, having already invested over £200m.
Meeting Luiz’s £60m valuation would, therefore, be a challenge so swapping Smith Rowe, who could be worth a similar amount, would make sense.
Smith Rowe would reunite with his former Arsenal manager
Arsenal already know that Aston Villa would be interested in signing the 23-year-old. They have made approaches for the midfielder in the past and Villans boss Unai Emery is known to be a big fan.
Smith Rowe was handed his senior debut by the Spaniard in the Europa League group game against Vorskla Poltava in September 2018.
Whether Villa would accept a direct swap, considering Luiz’s form and Smith Rowe’s poor injury record, though, we shall have to wait and see.