Losing Douglas Luiz back to Manchester City would be a “big disappointment” for Aston Villa, according to Alex McLeish.

The former Villa boss, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, admitted he had been “really impressed” with the midfielder’s performances since joining the club.

As quoted by the Manchester Evening News, Pep Guardiola refused to rule out Manchester City triggering the 22-year-old’s buyback clause this summer.

It is said City would have to spend £27.5million to bring the Brazilian back to the Etihad, £12.5million more than he was sold for in 2019.

The report also states the buyback clause expires this June.

Luiz never featured for City due to work permit issues but he has become a mainstay at Villa Park.

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He has played 28 times this season and has a total of 70 appearances under his belt for the Villans.

McLeish insisted he had been a “terrific” signing for Villa.

However, he admitted he could see the midfielder back at City.

McLeish told Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge: “It would be a big disappointment. I like him, I could easily imagine him back at Manchester City.

“Again that’s been terrific recruitment by Aston Villa. He has really impressed me amongst all the other Villa players who have been attracted to the club.

“Let’s face it, they have spent a lot of money on making sure the club can stay in the Premier League.

“That’s a credit to them in recruitment. Also, the board must take enormous credit for the money they’ve made available.”

Asked about Luiz’s future, Guardiola said: “There are a lot of people at the club working about these types of players and then, at the end of the season, we will make a decision.

“He’s an important player for Aston Villa. A guy who’s clever with the ball, he’s so physical and strong. He’s a lovely guy, unfortunately when he came, due to the work permit, he could not play. I’m happy he’s developing really, really well.”

In other news, Aston Villa are in the race to re-sign former Holte End favourite.