Pre-season has begun and the Aston Villa players are training hard ahead of their friendly with Walsall. Douglas Luiz is one of many undertaking sessions at Bodymoor Heath to improve his conditioning, and he posted pictures on his Instagram story showing him working hard on a sunny day.

The 23-year-old also posted a throwback picture on Instagram of himself with Brazilian teammates Vinicius Jr and Éder Militão. Luiz has represented the national team on eight occasions and featured twice in this summer’s Copa America, but he’s back from his short break and could play in the friendly.

Despite suggestions that Manchester City could bring the midfielder back to the Etihad Stadium this summer, Luiz’s buyback clause appears to have expired. The 23-year-old has two years remaining on his deal with Villa and should play a central role under Dean Smith.

Villa are still trying to bring in a midfielder and have been linked with Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Winks, Southampton’s James Ward-Prowse and Arsenal’s Emile Smith-Rowe, but it remains to be seen who will be brought in.

In other news, Frederic Guilbert reposts teammates training picture as he fights for place this season