Aston Villa

Aston Villa

Premier League • England

Emery instrumental as Aston Villa ‘close in’ on Real Madrid superstar; Arsenal approach left in tatters

Federico Valverde, Marco Asensio, Real Madrid, November 2022

Aston Villa are reportedly ‘closing in’ on signing Real Madrid attacker Marco Asensio on a free transfer this summer, despite interest from Arsenal.

Unai Emery is believed to have played a key role in the impending transfer, as he continues his revolution at Villa Park.

Indeed, the manager has guided Aston Villa to an extremely impressive seventh-place finish. This is despite the club being in danger of relegation when he arrived.

However, if they want to continue to challenge at the top of the Premier League, Villa will have to bring in some quality additions.

This is especially important given they will be playing in the Europa Conference League next season.

Now, Emery is set to be rewarded with ample funds to spend in the upcoming summer market.

For instance, the Villains have been linked with an ambitious move for Manchester City midfielder Kalvin Phillips recently.

But, one of Villa’s most impressive additions may not cost a penny.

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Aston Villa now ‘favourites’ to sign Asensio

According Jose Felix Diaz of MARCA, Villa are now the firm favourites to sign Asensio. Emery is reportedly ‘personally trying’ to convince the Spaniard to ditch the Bernabeu for the Midlands club.

If Villa do win the race for the Real Madrid star, it will be a major coup, with the likes of Arsenal, Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona and AC Milan all interested.

Asensio has not yet made a decision on his future. However, his agent, Jorge Mendes, is working hard on a move after he rejected a contract extension with Madrid. Now, a deal with Villa is ‘very close.’

Asensio seems to have fallen out of favour with Carlo Ancelotti, after making just 14 LaLiga starts for Los Blancos in 2022/23.

But, no one can doubt the Spaniard’s quality. In an impressive six-year stint playing in the Spanish capital, Asensio has featured 285 times, scoring 61 goals and making 32 assists in the process.

In his glittering career, the Spaniard has won three LaLiga titles, three Champions Leagues, a Copa del Rey, three Club World Cups, three UEFA Super Cups and three Spanish Super Cups.

Ancelotti has admitted he doesn’t know whether Asensio will be staying, but expects things to become clear soon.

He told a press conference: “On the subject of Asensio, I don’t know what the situation is… everything will be cleared up.

“On a personal level, I’m sad to see them go because they are very important. We’ll prepare for next season depending on the decisions they make.”

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