Manchester City are set to loan Douglas Luiz out to Spanish sister club Girona FC for a second successive season after he was denied a work permit, Paul Hirst of The Times reports.
A story from Goal last night claimed the 20-year-old had been offered to Benfica by businessman Carlos Leite, who helped smooth Douglas’ £10.7million transfer to City from Vasco da Gama last year.
And while Benfica haven’t ruled out the idea, it would depend on midfielder Pizzi – linked with Marseille, Schalke 04 and Real Betis – leaving the club, while Girona offers a quicker and more immediate solution for the player.
Hirst reports that Douglas is all set to return to Girona where he made 15 appearances in La Liga last season, totalling just 295 minutes. He played a further 155 in the Copa del Rey, but it was still a frustrating campaign for the Brazilian, who would expect more game time under new Girona boss Eusebio Sacristán.
Douglas’ potential has caught the eye of Pep Guardiola and Brazil coach Tite, both of whom wrote arguments in his support to the Home Office when City requested a work permit, and Guardiola was visibly disappointed by the rejection.
Pep had planned to use Douglas as back-up for his compatriot Fernandinho and with the work permit denial coming right before the English transfer window closed, it has left the City manager with less cover than he had hoped for in the holding midfield position – which City had wanted to reinforce by signing Jorginho in the summer before he opted for Chelsea.
With Patrick Roberts also joining Girona on loan, Douglas would take the City loanee count to three after Aleix Garcia headed to the Estadi Montilivi earlier in the summer.
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