Aston Villa

Aston Villa

Premier League • England

Aston Villa thwarted as club chief lists why transfer strategy blocks move

Julian Alvarez River Plate October 2021

The agent of Aston Villa and Tottenham Hotspur target Julian Alvarez was recently in England, but his current club River Plate are still hoping to keep him due to their transfer strategy.

Alvarez has risen to prominence in recent months and Aston Villa in particular have been keeping a close eye on him. He was one of many forwards linked with the club when it became clear they would be losing Jack Grealish in the summer.

Ultimately, they spent the Grealish money elsewhere. But links with Alvarez, who was a member of the Argentina squad that won the 2021 Copa America, have persisted.

The forward has 15 goals from 16 league games so far this season. It is easy to see why he is in demand.

Indeed, the number of clubs interested in acquiring him has been on the increase. Real Madrid are reportedly showing an interest, while there have been newer links with Tottenham.

But reports have indicated that Alvarez intends to sign an extension to his current contract with River Plate, which expires in December 2022.

River Plate vice-president Jorge Brito has revealed that is the intention of all parties. But he did admit that Alvarez’s agent has been in England.

“The objective, now his representative has returned from England, is to talk to reach a good agreement and that Julian stays,” Brito told Ole.

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“I can speak for River. We believe he is young, he has grown up a lot, the world is talking about him and there is a World Cup next year. That is a description of reality.

“We look to sell a player when he has reached his ceiling – a moment that is good for him and the club. And we believe Julian still has not arrived at his (ceiling).

“Julian has no limits. We have not seen such a player in Argentina for a long time.”

Reports have revealed that one of the stipulations Alvarez will set to sign a new deal is that there will be no increase to his release clause. It currently stands at a relatively affordable £18.2m, which shouldn’t damage his future chances of a transfer.

Julian Alvarez River Plate

River Plate are willing to oblige, but want to raise the clause for the last 10 days of any transfer window to £21.8m.

It seems he is closing in on committing his future to the Argentine club, though. Villa or Tottenham may have to be patient with their plans to snap him up.

Gerrard identifies first Villa signing

In the more immediate future, Villa will already have an eye on the January transfer window.

It was a busy summer for them as they reinvested much of the £100m they received for Grealish when selling him to Manchester City.

But their results have not lifted up and manager Dean Smith recently lost his job as a result.

Villa have appointed Steven Gerrard as his replacement. In doing so, they have given the former Liverpool midfielder his first job in Premier League management after success north of the border with Rangers.

Gerrard will reportedly be backed in the upcoming transfer window. In fact, one report has even identified who his first target could be.

According to the Birmingham Mail, Gerrard may seek a reunion with Glen Kamara of Rangers.

Kamara understands Gerrard’s tactics and is seen as a good fit for Villa’s midfield.

There are clearly plenty of areas Villa are looking to adjust. Only time will tell what they manage to do.