Aston Villa remain hopeful of concluding the signing of Rodrigo Bentancur before the transfer window closes – and reportedly have just one detail left before being given permission to seal the deal.
Villa’s transfer window has exceeded expectation, with Steven Gerrard luring some huge players to the side. The signings of Philippe Coutinho and Lucas Digne have showcased the side’s ambition. And with Robin Olsen and Kerr Smith on board, Villa are not done yet.
The final piece of business this month looks like it will be a midfielder.
A genuine defensive midfielder seems to be the missing piece of the puzzle for Villa at the moment. While Marvelous Nakamba showed promise early in the season, he sustained a knee injury which will keep him out long term.
Douglas Luiz has filled the role in Nakamba’s absence, and has done a fine job. However, the Brazilian could also be utilised as a number eight.
Having been priced out of a deal for the £50m-rated Yves Bissouma, Gerrard has turned attentions towards Bentancur.
The Uruguayan has made 26 appearances in all competitions for Juventus this season, with three assists to his name.
And it seems the Italian giants are willing to let him leave, with a £16m fee being floated around.
Bentancur also comes with a big recommendation from Gerrard’s close pal, Luis Suarez, who knows him from the international scene.
Now the Daily Mail claims Villa made an official approach for Bentancur on Saturday.
According to the paper, Villa’s offer has been accepted but remains on hold until Juve sign a replacement.
Juve have three options to replace Bentancur
However, it is not expected to be too much of a problem for Juve with a number of options under consideration.
Bentancur to leave Juventus for Aston Villa thanks to Luis Suarez
Rodrigo Bentancur is ready to leave Juventus and join Aston Villa as winter spending continues
Indeed, Max Allegri’s side are plotting moves for Denis Zakaria of Borussia Monchengladbach and Lyon’s Bruno Guimaraes. And failure to land either of those two will see Cagliari’s Nahitan Nandez targeted.
And once that is done, Villa are hopeful that Bentacur will soon then become their player.
At the time of writing, Villa still have over five days to secure his signature. However, the Mail claims there is a growing optimism that Bentancur can become Gerrard signing No 5.
Villa still want centre-half
The Mail claims Gerrard is also keeping his eye open for a potential defensive signing.
With Axel Tuanzebe having his loan cancelled and subsequently moving to Napoli, Villa are looking light.
Indeed, they only have Tyrone Mings, Ezri Konsa and Kortney Hause as options to play there.
Injury or suspension to one of that trio leaves Villa short of cover.
As a result, Gerrard remains on the lookout for a potential fourth signing, though interest in Joe Gomez looks unlikely to come to fruition.
One man who has been linked with an exit though is John McGinn.
However, Gerrard insists Villa are in no mood to entertain any bids.
“We are certainly not a club that is looking to sell. Our intention is to keep John McGinn here,” he said.
“I want [McGinn] to remain a Villa player and we can’t be any clearer on that. We love the player, we love the human being and we want to help him.”