Aston Villa backed to smash transfer record with signing of top Unai Emery target, as ‘bargain’ claim made

Nico Williams and David Raum Credit: Alamy
Nico Williams and David Raum Credit: Alamy

Aston Villa have been told they must break their transfer record to sign a World Cup player who is high on Unai Emery’s wanted list, although the capture would still be a ‘bargain’ as the star has such good potential.

Villa brought in two new players during the January transfer window at Emery’s request. They spent £12.5million to sign Spanish left-back Alex Moreno from Real Betis. Teenage striker Jhon Duran then followed Moreno to Villa Park. He cost a reported £14.75m when signing from MLS side Chicago Fire.

Moreno has made five appearances for Villa so far, with all of them coming in the Premier League. He registered his first goal contribution for the club when he set up Philippe Coutinho for Villa’s second goal during the 4-2 defeat to Arsenal on Saturday.

Duran, meanwhile, has made substitute appearances in three league games, though he is yet to score a goal.

Moreno and Duran will aim to increase their influence on the team over the coming months to help Emery’s men get into the top half. They currently sit in 11th spot, three points behind 10th-placed Chelsea.

Emery will likely be drawing up initial plans for the summer transfer window. Villa are involved in the pursuit of Marcus Thuram. The Borussia Monchengladbach striker will become a free agent at the end of the season.

READ MORE: Aston Villa willing to sacrifice best player in colossal Tottenham transfer that’ll oust fallen star and spark Emery rebuild

The Villans are big fans of Athletic Bilbao winger Nico Williams, too. The exciting 20-year-old is making a big impact in La Liga and he played in all four of Spain’s World Cup matches last year.

Villa also admire Williams’ team-mate Oihan Sancet, who operates as a central midfielder. But Williams is seemingly Emery’s main target for the next transfer window.

Aston Villa could break transfer record with La Liga swoop

And there has now been an update on Villa’s chase for the wide man from Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo. They claim Villa will need to break their transfer record in order to capture Williams.

Villa’s current record signing is Emi Buendia, who cost an initial £33m. The deal agreed with Norwich had the potential to be worth £38m depending on add-ons.

But the West Midlands side have been told they will have to pay Williams’ full €50m (£44m) release clause in order to reach an agreement with Athletic.

While this is a hefty sum, it is unlikely to put Villa off. Due to the youngster’s huge potential, a transfer at £44m could actually end up being a ‘bargain’.

Mundo Deportivo express serious concern about Athletic not protecting their most valuable assets with huge release clauses. Club chiefs have been told they should have organised a new contract for Williams similar to Enzo Fernandez’s Benfica deal before Villa came calling. Benfica managed to receive £107m from Chelsea for the midfielder after saying he would only leave for his full release clause.

But in Williams’ case, Athletic appear set to lose out on big money. This will delight Villa, as they could end up getting a player with potential to be worth £70m or more in the future for £44m.

Meanwhile, Arsenal and Villa are being tipped to take part in a bidding war over a rising Italian midfielder.

The article Aston Villa backed to smash transfer record with signing of top Unai Emery target, as ‘bargain’ claim made appeared first on