Aston Villa have missed out on another defender signing after Mainz star Jeremiah St. Juste agreed a deal to sign for Sporting.
Villa, West Ham and Leicester were all in the hunt for St. Juste, who was billed as the fastest player in the Bundesliga. The centre-back’s top speed was recorded at 36.63kph. That put him in front of the likes of Erling Haaland and Leroy Sane in terms of sprinting.
It’s that pace and his defensive calmness that put him on a number of clubs’ radars.
But Sporting have won the race to sign the player after he was attracted to Portuguese capital by the famous club.
“Jeremiah approached us and expressed his desire to join Sporting Lisbon, as he is keen to take the next steps in his career in another country. We fully understood and accepted his decision,” said Mainz boss Christian Heidel on their website.
“However, it was also important for us to come to a transfer agreement that was in line with our financial requirements.
“We wish Jeremiah all the best at his new club. Despite the fact he has missed much of this season due to injury, he has played an important role at Mainz over the last three years,” he added.
St Juste was under contract until 2023, but played just eight times in the Bundesliga this season due to shoulder problems.
Jornal de Notícias reported that Sporting were trying to wrap up a deal for the player quickly las week. And Villa’s interest probably pushed them into getting a deal hammered out.
The Portuguese club were keen to avoid a bidding war with other clubs.
Jeremiah St. Juste snub adds to Villa woes
Sporting are said to have offered around €10m for the player up front, as well as a number of performance-related add-ons.
The Dutch defender spent three seasons at Mainz and made 69 appearances for the club.
It’s not the first centre-back Villa have missed out on this summer.
Football Insider revealed Aston Villa came in recently with a ‘big-money’ contract offer to land Matthias Ginter.
The German international was a target for Steven Gerrard. Per the source, Gerrard is keen to break up the centre-half partnership of Tyrone Mings and Ezri Konsa. And 28-year-old Borussia Monchengladbach man Ginter had been eyed up.
But he rejected the chance to feature in the Premier League for the first time. Instead, Ginter opted for a move to Bundesliga rivals Freiburg at the end of the season.
Christian Streich’s men are currently in fifth place and are looking to finish in the Champions League places.