Aston Villa

Aston Villa

Premier League • England

Aston Villa joined by Fulham, Brentford in launching bids for Colombia forward, with leading suitor named

Chicago Fire forward Jhon Duran

Aston Villa, Fulham and Brentford have all submitted offers for Colombia attacker Jhon Duran, according to reports emerging from Italy.

Duran is an exciting young striker who plays for Chicago Fire in MLS. He has been in decent form this season, netting eight goals in 27 league games, while also chipping in with five assists.

Duran appears to be too good for MLS and has been tipped to move to Europe on a few occasions. Back in October, reports claimed Manchester United and Liverpool to be in a tussle for his signature.

Then, in November, West Ham and Everton emerged as rivals to snap him up from Chicago.

Those four Premier League clubs seem to be looking at different striker signings. But Duran could still end up playing in England.

Italian source Calciomercato claim Villa, Fulham and Brentford have all sent Chicago offers for the 19-year-old. However, the report doesn’t go as far as revealing how much these proposals are worth.

Instead, Calciomercato shine more light on Benfica’s pursuit of Duran. The Portuguese side have submitted a €15million (£13.2m) bid for the goalscorer, which is made up of an initial €10m payment and €5m in bonuses.

Despite interest from Villa, Fulham and Brentford, it is Benfica who are in ‘pole position’ to sign Duran.

MLS club to cash in on striker

His Chicago contract runs until December 2024, and the USA outfit have the option to extend it by another two years. But it doesn’t look like Chicago will do this, as they appear set to cash in on him.

Duran probably wouldn’t want to sign a new deal at Chicago anyway. He has shown he can compete at a higher level and will hope to test his ability in Portugal’s Primeira Liga.

The report names Duran as one of the Colombian players to watch for the future. He has won three caps for the national side so far and will surely pick up more if he joins Benfica and does well there.

Benfica represent a great next step for Duran. The Portuguese top flight is tough, but it is not as hard as the Premier League.

This means he will have a good chance of shining for Benfica, should he go there, before potentially securing a big-money transfer to England.

Many players have honed their skills in Portugal before being snapped up by Prem teams. Duran’s compatriot Luis Diaz is a recent example, and he has been electric when fit for Liverpool.

Reds striker Darwin Nunez spent two seasons at Benfica before joining Jurgen Klopp’s side in a club-record deal. He has been guilty of some bad misses while playing for Liverpool, though he definitely has the attributes to become a huge success.

Villa, Fulham and Brentford will be disappointed about Duran going potentially elsewhere. But they will now set their sights on other players for the January window.

Meanwhile, a Man Utd move represents a ‘huge temptation’ for a Villa star, according to one pundit.