Aston Villa ‘close to agreeing’ £12m deal to sign left-back; ‘eager to bring in’ ex-Barcelona man

Aston Villa will sign Moreno Credit: Alamy
Aston Villa will sign Moreno Credit: Alamy

Aston Villa are reportedly ‘close to agreeing’ a £12m deal to bring in Real Betis left-back Alex Moreno and he looks set to be Unai Emery’s first signing.

Ex-Arsenal boss Emery left Villarreal in November to replace Steven Gerrard at Aston Villa.

The Villans have fared well since he took over as they have won three of his seven games in charge.

There is work to do though as they are coming off a shock FA Cup third round defeat at the hands of League Two side Stevenage.

Villa are eleventh in the Premier League and after their positive recent form, they are seven points clear of the bottom three.

But Emery is keen for his side to be busy this month to boost their chances of finishing in the top-half this season.

The Daily Mail are reporting that Aston Villa are ‘close to agreeing a fee’ to sign Moreno from Real Betis.

Emery will have seen a lot of Moreno as he has spent the past four seasons as a regular for the La Liga side.

The fee for Moreno will be £12m and he ‘has not travelled to Saudi Arabia with the Betis squad for the Spanish Super Cup mini-tournament as he awaits developments on a move to the Premier League’.

Moreno ‘turned down’ Nottingham Forest in the summer but Emery identified the 29-year-old as a ‘priority signing’ this month.

The report notes that the defender’s arrival could impact Lucas Digne, who joined Villa for around £25m in the summer from Everton.

Emery has also admitted that he is keen to sign a new winger and The Daily Mail adds that he ‘is interested in former Everton and Watford man Gerard Deulofeu’.

The 28-year-old progressed through the ranks at FC Barcelona and he has been with Serie A side Udinese since 2020.

Deulofeu has grabbed three goals and seven assists in 17 outings this term and he is out of contract in 2024.

Emery will likely let go of some unwanted players in the coming months and Philippe Coutinho is expected to be among them.

Stan Collymore has claimed that it was “ridiculous” for Villa to give the Brazilian a contract until 2026.

“I’d be surprised if Villa didn’t try to sell Coutinho in the summer,” Collymore told Caught Offside.

“It won’t be easy though. His contract runs until 2026 which was a ridiculous deal to give him by the way.

“It was offered at an end of season get together last summer as some sort of weird Purslow gift to Villa fans but it is a complete and utter waste of the owner’s money and because of that, they could very well end up with the player not involved at all and earning huge money – Crazy!

“Other options would obviously include Villa giving him a free transfer in three years’ time, or loaning him out before then, but either way, Coutinho should not be at Aston Villa football club.”

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