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Aston Villa reportedly closing in on Manchester City starlet Douglas Luiz and Stade Reims defender Bjorn Engels

By Luke Hatfield | Aston Villa | Published:

Aston Villa are reportedly closing in on deals for Manchester City midfielder Douglas Luiz and Stade Reims defender Bjorn Engels.

Bjorn Engels and Douglas Luiz (Photos: Michel Berix/Agencia de Noticias ANDES)

Villa have already signed seven players following promotion to the top flight, with an estimated outlay of £80m, however should they complete both deals their summer spending could surpass £100m.

Reports suggest that Villa are poised to sign highly-rated Brazilian midfielder Ruiz from Manchester City for £15m, a player high in the estimation of City boss Pep Guardiola.

The 21-year-old captains Brazil's U23 side, but has been sent out on-loan by City to Girona - he's yet to make a senior appearance for the Citizens.

The clubs have reportedly agreed the fee already, and should the deal get completed soon, he could fly out and join the Villa squad in the US for their pre-season clash with Minnesota United.

City were reportedly frustrated at the failure to secure a work permit for Luiz at the beginning of last season, although Villa are said not to be worried about the issue happening again.

Best utilised in central midfield, Luiz can play in an attacking or defensive role. It's not clear whether the club will continue to pursue Leeds United star Kalvin Phillips should they seal the Brazilian's signing.

It's also reported that City will include a buy-back clause in any move.

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Meanwhile, Villa are also nearing the signing of 24-year-old Belgian defender Bjorn Engels, according to reports.

Dean Smith attempted to sign the former U21 international for Brentford last year, but saw the move collapse late in the window.

It seems he's now returned for the centre-back, who previously played with Villa's club-record signing Wesley Moraes during his time at Club Brugge.

Reims only recently signed Engels permanently for just over £3.5m, but it appears that Villa are set to bring him to the Premier League.

Smith has already brought Kortney Hause, Tyrone Mings and Ezri Konsa to the club this summer, all of whom are natural centre backs.

They also have James Chester on the books, although questions remain about his fitness after he revealed he would need to manage the knee injury he picked up last season in the future.

Luke Hatfield

By Luke Hatfield
@LHatfield_Star

Digital Sports Journalist with the Express & Star and Shropshire Star.

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