Aston Villa

Aston Villa

Premier League • England

Aston Villa to fund monumental €100m Barcelona raid by sacrificing star who cost Arsenal the league

Barcelona defender Ronald Araujo, Real Madrid winger Vinicius Jr

Aston Villa could lay down a huge marker by signing a €100m-rated Barcelona ace who’d oust the man who won both player of the match awards in the two victories over Arsenal this season, according to reports.

Aston Villa are unquestionably a club on the rise under the superb tandem of manager Unai Emery and President of Football Operations Monchi.

Villa’s fourth-place finish secured the club participation in the Champions League next term. The last time Villa featured in Europe’s premier competition was over 40 years ago in the 1982/83 season.

To ensure Villa can continue to compete on two fronts and not suffer the type of setbacks Newcastle did this season, a busy transfer window is on the horizon.

A first signing of the summer is already advanced, with a cut-price deal for Luton Town playmaker Ross Barkley rapidly advancing. Full details on that move – along with which midfielder Emery will target next – can be found below.

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But according to various reports from both England and Spain, Villa intend to make an almighty statement of intent at the centre-back position.

Diego Carlos sale to pave way for huge coup

Firstly, Aston Villa are willing to listen to offers for Brazilian defender Diego Carlos.

TEAMtalk previously learned the 31-year-old has emerged as a key target for AC Milan. Carlos has done little wrong at Villa Park to warrant being sold, though his advancing age and high £100,000-a-week salary make him expendable.

Carlos is coming off the back of a superb campaign in which his individual efforts went a long way to deciding the fate of the Premier League title.

Indeed, Carlos proved his worth against the toughest opponents when named man of the match in Villa’s two victories over Arsenal in the league this season.

The Gunners lost 1-0 at Villa Park on December 9 and Villa followed that up with a 2-0 victory at the Emirates on April 14.

Villa kept Arsenal goalless in each contest and Carlos was duly rewarded with man of the match awards.

Nevertheless, Carlos will be moved on for the right price this summer and his sale could open the door for a truly staggering signing.

Ronald Araujo to Aston Villa?

Reports in Spain bring news of Villa showing serious interest in Barcelona and Uruguay ace, Ronald Araujo.

The 25-year-old is among the best defenders in Spain having earned selections to the LaLiga teams of the season for the 2021/22 and 2023/24 seasons.

During a previous trip to Barcelona, Villa chief Monchi reportedly let his Barcelona counterparts know Villa WILL make a lucrative bid for Araujo if they qualified for the Champions League.

Villa have done just that and a move for the defender Barcelona value at €100m/£85m is being eyed.

Adding fuel to the transfer fire are recent claims Araujo is looking ever more favourably upon the idea of leaving the Spanish giant.

Araujo warms to Barcelona exit

Araujo signed a new deal with Barca in 2022 on modest terms from a wages perspective. The expectation on the player’s end was Barcelona would subsequently reward Araujo with a salary that far better suits his impact at the club in the following years.

However, fast forward to the present day and no new contract is on the horizon.

Manchester United and Bayern Munich are both hovering over Araujo and would pose a threat to Aston Villa’s remarkable raid.

Despite Villa securing the £50m windfall that comes with UCL qualification, the club must tread carefully or run the risk of breaching the Premier League’s PSR rules.

As such, Carlos would need to be sold to free up both funds for the transfer fee as well as shed salary off the books.

Of course, selling Carlos alone would not raise the type of fee Araujo would cost. However, Villa hope to find a permanent buyer for Philippe Coutinho who is also on high wages at Villa Park.

Another star Villa are considering waving goodbye to – albeit more reluctantly – is midfielder Jacob Ramsey.

The sales of homegrown stars such as Ramsey represent pure profit on the balance sheet. Newcastle, Tottenham and Liverpool are all admirers of the 22-year-old.

READ MORE: FOUR key areas Aston Villa have to address to make massive Champions League statement