Aston Villa’s pursuit of Manchester City midfielder Douglas Luiz is a very modern transfer saga, played out on social media for all the world to see with a hint here and a cryptic post there.
Nothing has been publicly agreed yet though according to The Mirror (23 July, page 50), the Brazilian youngster is set to become Villa’s latest summer signing in the next few days for a fee of £15 million.
A week ago, Luiz posted a photo of himself in Minnesota and published it on his official Instagram page. It is surely no coincidence that Aston Villa were also present in ‘The Gopher State’ at exactly the same time, playing in a friendly against Minnesota United.
And while it’s always a good idea to be wary about reading too much into a footballer’s social media activity, the fact that he appears to be training on his own certainly sets the mind racing.
After all, if he was going to be part of Manchester City's first-team squad next season you'd imagine that he would have spent the last few days out in China for the Premier League Cup fixtures against West Ham United and Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Only time will tell, however, whether Luiz is worth the wait. A skilful yet combative defensive midfielder, the 21-year-old should represent a substantial upgrade on Glenn Whelan and Mile Jedinak.
There’s a reason City boss Pep Guardiola rates him so highly. And the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss is hardly a bad judge of character.
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