Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images

Aston Villa’s next manager could face a fight to retain Douglas Luiz in the January transfer window, as Calciomercato report he remains an option for Roma and boss Jose Mourinho.

The Villans are on the hunt for their new head coach after sacking Dean Smith following five-straight Premier League defeats.

Rangers boss Steven Gerrard and Belgium coach Roberto Martinez are among the Villa Park outfit’s options. And one of their first jobs could be to convince Luiz of his long-term future.

Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images

Mourinho is determined to see Roma add a new midfielder in the mid-season window after failing to in the summer. The Portuguese considers the Stadio Olimpico engine room to be one of the most lacking areas of his squad.

MAN UNITED 'Should Appoint David Moyes' Again

He now expects CEO Tiago Pinto to address the need in January, to increase the physicality and technical skill available. Mourinho also has a shortlist of targets in mind for the area.

Borussia Monchengladbach’s Denis Zakaria is the easiest option among the ex-Tottenham boss’ targets as he is out of contract in June. But Mourinho also admires what Aston Villa’s Luiz or Porto’s Luis Diaz would offer Roma if winter transfers are possible.

Roma had considered signing Luiz from Aston Villa in the summer, too, as the Brazilian was one of Mourinho’s top targets. But Calciomercato noted Villa demanded €30m (£25.5m).

Photo by James Chance/Getty Images

Will Roma return to interest in transfer for Aston Villa star Luiz in January?

Smith would have been delighted Aston Villa fended off Roma and Mourinho’s interest in Luiz in the summer transfer window.

The £33k-a-week ace has started eight of the Birmingham outfit’s Premier League fixtures so far this season. He also provided assists in wins over Everton and Manchester United.

Luiz was particularly impressive in their win at Old Trafford with his nimble footwork to keep possession. While Aston Villa particularly struggled at Arsenal, as Mikel Arteta set his side up to stop the five-cap international from settling and establishing Villa’s presence.

Had a hamstring injury not ruled Luiz out against West Ham United or Southampton, Smith – who dubbed him ‘unbelievable’ last year – may have turned Villa’s fortunes around.

The now unemployed boss expected the midfielder to return after the international break. But his return will prove too late for Smith’s hopes of staying in charge at Villa Park.

In other news, 'A bit of talk': Leeds journalist has bad news for Whites fans before West Ham