Pep Guardiola reportedly sent videos of Douglas Luiz to the UK Home Office, explaining how important the Brazilian could be to Manchester City.
The midfielder left the Etihad Stadium in 2019 to join Aston Villa, after work permit issues prevented him from playing for the then Premier League champions.
Guardiola is a known admirer of the Brazilian enforcer, but The Athletic have today shed light on just how highly the Spaniard rated the 22-year-old.
Apparently Guardiola tried to make clear to the Home Office how the player could potentially become an integral part of his side, as did Brazil national team coach Tite.
According to the report, ‘both predicted Luiz would become a fully-fledged Brazil international – only, at that stage, he wasn’t, and certain criteria needed to be met for such a move to go through’.
Luiz has proven to be a brilliant signing for Villa, and is a huge influence in their side as the holding midfielder.
His form has been epecially good since Project Restart, and some Villa fans are worried City will exercise their £27.5 million buy-back option over the player, which expires after June 5.
Luiz surely Fernandinho’s natural successor
Clearly Guardiola is a huge fan of Luiz and it’s very apparent that had it not been for those work permit issues, the manager would have been integrating him into first-team.
But he’s gone away and starred for Villa and also earned a few caps with Brazil, and that smart buy-back clause is looking very tasty indeed.
Fernandinho may or may not leave in the summer, but either way City need a long-term replacement for the star.
Guardiola does have Rodri, but Luiz is much more similar stylistically to Fernandinho than the Spaniard, and would be an excellent, cost-effective signing.