Aston Villa are gearing up for European football next season and Unai Emery is plotting a blockbuster move to take his side to the next level.
The Spanish manager has taken this Villa side to the next level. Guiding them to seventh place in the league, they will play in the Europa Conference League next season.
With Emery keen to add to his attacking options, the club have been sounding out potential targets. They have been linked with the likes of Jack Harrison and Marco Asensio already to bolster their wide options.
Perhaps one of their most ambitious transfer targets is Sporting CP midfielder, Pedro Goncalves. The Portuguese playmaker has been attracting plenty of interest this season.
Tottenham also hold an interest in the 24-year-old. However, with Aston Villa having European football next season, this could tip the scales in their favour.
Sport Witness have reported that Aston Villa have ‘advanced with approaches’ for the midfielder as they ‘insist’ on making the signing this summer.
His current release clause with Sporting is set at €80m (£69m), which the Portuguese club are demanding in full.
As Sporting only own 50% of his transfer rights, they will be looking to secure as much money as possible. His current deal with the Portuguese club runs until 2026.
Time will tell if Aston Villa do indeed have the funds to pull this sort of deal off. Aston Villa’s record signing remains to be Emiliano Buendía who was signed for £33m, rising to £38m with add-ons.
Goncalves would be statement signing
Aston Villa have spent their fair share of money since 2019-20, but nothing like the £69m it would take to land a player like Goncalves.
The 24-year-old has had a brilliant season for Sporting this time around. With 19 goals and 12 assists in all competitions, it’s easy to see why Villa are interested.
He has predominantly played as an advanced midfielder, although he has also played on the left-hand side this season too.
Following Tottenham’s interest in the player, Sporting manager Ruben Amorim clarified that clubs will need to pay his full €80m release clause to prize him away.
“Pedro Goncalves can only join Tottenham if they trigger the €80m release clause in his Sporting Lisbon contract,” Amorim explained back in April via TuttoSport.
“If they give €80m, he’ll go there. If they don’t pay, he’ll continue at Sporting. These are players who are comfortable here.”
The 24-year-old has spent the last three seasons with Sporting. In that time he has scored 58 goals across 129 appearances which is hugely impressive.
He has averaged a goal every 2.2 games as well as providing countless assists in that time. Aston Villa would do well to secure his services for next season.