Aston Villa transfer news: Otavio offer falls well short as three major FC Porto hurdles pose a big problem

Otavio of FC Porto during the UEFA Champions League match at Giuseppe Meazza, Milan

Aston Villa have been warned they will have to dig much deeper if they are serious about their efforts to bring FC Porto attacker Otavio to Villa Park this summer.

The 27-year-old Portugal international has earned plenty of admirers on the back of an excellent 2021/22 season. Indeed, he contributed to 19 goals across all competitions, as his side won the league and cup double. Predictably, that has led to plenty of big guns taking a look at him.

To that end, both Liverpool and Leeds have been mentioned as potential suitors. More recently, Villa are also reportedly sniffing around as Steven Gerrard looks to push the Villans into the upper echelons of the Premier League.

His would be an excellent signing, no doubt, and – alongside Philippe Coutinho – another capture that would excite fans.

As a result, Villa are reportedly considering an opening £30m offer for his services earlier this week. That offer would also include some add-ons and bonuses, taking the deal closer to round the £34m mark.

However, as per Correio da Manha, that potential offer has already been flat-batted away by Porto. Indeed, the Portuguese paper claims that the Primeira Liga champions will not consider any bids that come in for less than his  full £34m (€40m) asking price.

And while claims of Villa’s initial downpayment does not fall too far short, there is another potential problem on the horizon. That’s with Correio da Manha revealing that Otavio’s exit clause is due to reach £51.7m (€60m) on July 15.

And having already sold Fabio Vieira and Vitinha to Arsenal and PSG, respectively, Porto are under no pressure to cash in on a third star.

Aston Villa transfer ambition to be admired

As such, it seems highly unlikely that even an increased Villa bid will yield a positive outcome. And with less than two weeks to go before a price hike, Villa appear to be fighting a losing battle to snare Otavio.

Gerrard and Co are certainly making no secrets of their plans to push higher up the Premier League table. Ambitious January coups for Coutinho and Lucas Digne set the ball rolling.

And this summer they have also managed to sign Diego Carlos, Robin Olsen and Boubacar Kamara.

Those signings give Villa options all over the park – but Gerrard is always on the lookout for more and ways to improve.

Indeed, the ultra competitive edge in the Premier League means no side can afford to stand still. Failure to strengthen can see you left behind against your rivals and competitors.

Furthermore, with the five substitutes rule coming into effect, sides will be eager to ensure they have much stronger squad options.

Otavio is understandably one such signing Villa would fancy. However, they would be wise to heed the warnings coming from Portugal and move on quickly if their offer fails.

Meanwhile, Milan have reportedly made contact over a proposal to sign Douglas Luiz, with Villa making clear their demands.