After crashing out of the Champions League to Lyon, Pep Guardiola is now planning a mini rebuild and wants Douglas back amongst his group.
The report by Globo Esporte claims Douglas is due back into Birmingham today ahead of reporting back in at Bodymoor on Wednesday (August 19).
Esporte add how City will look to exercise their agreement wedged into the transfer with Villa following his arrival for £15 million last summer.
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Douglas has recently claimed a two-year UK work visa, has obtained a provisional license and passed an English exam back in June.
City, of course, couldn’t gain a work permit for the 22-year-old as Guardiola couldn’t guarantee Douglas a place within his talented squad.
That now appears to have changed given Douglas’ incredible return to form throughout Project Restart earlier this summer as he starred for Villa in their remaining 10 fixtures to help Dean Smith’s side survive by a point.
City, meanwhile, snapped Douglas up from Vasco in Brazil for £10 million back in 2017 on a five-year contract, with the central midfielder performing well in pre-season under Guardiola before being loaned out to La Liga side Girona for two seasons due to failing to obtain a UK visa.
Douglas’ importance to Villa last term has helped sort his visa situation out. Esporte also adds how former club Vasco would benefit from £500,000 should City buy Douglas back from Villa for the £25 million clause.
Regarding City, they’re seemingly acting now on the £25 million buy-back option as the agreement expires in June 2021. Villa have also paid City a £1 million bonus after Douglas helped keep them in the Premier League.
As for the dynamic midfielder, he enjoyed a successful spell throughout Villa’s final 10 games and was lauded by head coach Smith for the way he adapted to the demands of the Premier League after a somewhat slow start.
“It’s helped him mix in with players and the lads are having a laugh with him now. He keeps telling us his television is next to his table!
“He’s got a good grasp, he’s not the most confident speaker, but he’s an extremely fit lad and he’s come out on top in everything.
“He needed to understand his teammates a lot more – and not just in English. He needed to know the type of passes players want to receive from him, where they want him to be on the pitch. He needed to know them more. The language has helped, but the break has helped him become a fitter player.
“He walked through the door without much of a pre-season. He’s now got a really good understanding of his teammates.”
Speaking about his former player previously, Guardiola said of the Brazilian international: “We have an option to get him back but sometimes life is like this. We wanted him because last season (18/19) we had problems in that position because we didn’t buy a holding midfielder.
“We wanted him before so we thought about it but the rules with the work permit meant it was not possible. I thought he would be here with the pre-season he played last year in the States, he was really good. I think he had the quality to play with us but he could not do it.
“The talent is always there, we’ll see at the end of the season what his level is but the quality is always there.”