Manchester City have been keeping a close eye on the progress of their former midfielder Douglas Luiz at Aston Villa, and they have been so impressed with the Brazilian that they are considering bringing him back to the Etihad.
Villa struck a £15m deal to sign Luiz during the summer of 2019 after City grew frustrated at his inability to secure a work permit in the two years he had been at the club, with the scale of the transfer enough to get him the permit needed to play in England.
The 22-year-old was a regular last season and has started all of Villa's seven Premier League games this year, helping them to five victories and earning himself a spot in the Brazil national team as a result of his impressive performances.
City always knew that Luiz had the potential to impress and therefore insisted on inserting a buy-back clause in the deal which took the midfielder to Villa Park, and sources have confirmed to 90min that City are giving serious thought to triggering it in 2021.
Club officials believe that City's midfield may need rebuilding in the near future. Fernandinho is 35, Ilkay Gundogan is 30 and the jury remains out on Rodri, who has failed to live up to expectations since moving to the Etihad in 2019.
Luiz is seen as a prime candidate to rejuvenate the Citizens' midfield, and the fact that he would be available for around £25m works in his favour as City are eager to save money for their pursuit of a new striker.
It was revealed exclusively to 90min that City are keen to spend big on either Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland or Inter's Lautaro Martinez, so the chance to save some money and strike a bargain deal for Luiz may be too good to pass up on.
Villa have made no secret of their desire to keep hold of Luiz and the club have not ruled out trying to buy-out City's option on the midfielder, but there is an awareness that his current level of performance may make that impossible.
Luiz has confirmed City scouts' beliefs that he could blossom into a star in the Premier League, and while no decision has been made just yet, the club are giving serious thought to finally offering him a spot in the City first team.