Aston Villa

Aston Villa

Premier League • England

Aston Villa prepare January move for top Emery target as three Premier League rivals enter attacker’s transfer battle

Nicolas Jackson on the move for Villarreal

Aston Villa, Everton, Southampton and Bournemouth are all plotting January moves for Villarreal attacker Nicolas Jackson, TEAMtalk understands.

Jackson, 21, has emerged as a target for the Premier League quartet as they look to bolster their attacking options for the second half of the season.

Jackson, who has scored two goals and provided two assists in La Liga this season from 14 appearances, was part of Senegal’s squad at the World Cup and made one brief appearance off the bench against the Netherlands.

The skilful forward has been among Villa’s top targets ever since Unai Emery took over at Villa Park, having worked with the forward during his time in charge of Villarreal.

During their time together in Spain, Jackson made 27 appearances under Emery, scoring three goals and assisting the same amount.

Able to play as a centre-forward or occasionally as a winger, Jackson could provide competition for the likes of Ollie Watkins and Danny Ings at Villa.

However, TEAMtalk understands that Villa are not alone in their admiration of the African attacker.

Everton among rival suitors for Nicolas Jackson

Everton have also held a long-term interest in Jackson, having considered signing him last summer. Toffees boss Frank Lampard is desperate to add some attacking impetus to his side, who are currently just one point above the relegation zone.

Meanwhile, new Bournemouth owner Bill Foley is set to back Cherries boss Gary O’Neil in the market and they are also ready to move for Jackson.

And elsewhere, struggling Southampton are aiming to add more firepower to their side and Jackson has emerged on the radar of Nathan Jones’ outfit.

Villarreal are aware of the growing interest in the winger and are bracing themselves for offers for Jackson during this month’s transfer window.

Jackson is under contract at Estadio de la Ceramica until 2026. His overall record for Villarreal is 32 appearances, three goals and three assists.

He also played for their B team in the past, scoring seven goals and adding eight assists from 28 games, and endured a loan spell with Mirandes, for whom he scored and assisted once apiece from 17 games.

Beginning to fulfil his potential now, Jackson could be bound for the Premier League as early as this month. Emery will of course be hoping to win the race for his former pupil’s signature, but Villa evidently do not have a free run at taking him.

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