Aston Villa blocked at last hurdle as European giant closes in to hijack forward’s move

Marco Asensio, Lucas Vazquez, Real Madrid, May 2023

Marco Asensio is reportedly closing in on a deal with Paris Saint-Germain, just days after an Aston Villa move looked to be very close.

After eight seasons as a Real Madrid player – one of which he was on loan at Mallorca – Asensio’s career at the Bernabeu appears to be coming to an end.

His contract runs out in the summer, and the prospect of remaining seems long gone.

Throughout the campaign, the forward has been linked with moves to multiple sides. In the Premier League, the likes of Tottenham, Manchester City, Arsenal and Chelsea have all been credited with interest.

In March, it was reported the latter three sides would all offer him the chance to join them.

Of late, it’s Aston Villa who put their noses out in front. The interest from the Villans has not been reported for very long at all, but that they secured European football for next season gave them a good chance.

What’s more, manager Unai Emery was said to be personally trying to convince Asensio to join.

That the manager is so enamoured with the forward seemed to have put Villa in the box seat. Indeed, a report suggested the deal which would see Asensio move to Villa Park was ‘very close’.

PSG close in on Asensio hijack

However, the pursuit has taken a twist, and it seems Villa might just be disappointed.

Spanish outlet AS reports Asensio ‘will be a new PSG player’ in the next few days. That report states Asensio will join the club’s ranks for ‘four or five years’.

Interest from Villa, as well as Chelsea and also Liverpool is mentioned.

While those clubs – Villa especially – were said to be ‘bidding hardest’, the project at PSG and the interest they have shown has ‘tipped the balance’ in their favour.

Asensio a loss but Villa can cope

Losing out on the chance to sign a player of Asensio’s quality for free is a big hit. Indeed, the Spaniard has had one of his best seasons in a Real shirt this term, scoring 12 times and assisting eight more goals in all competitions.

That a European giant looks to be the side to land him shows just how good of an asset he would have been for Villa.

However, they’ll be able to manage without. They obviously had a very good season with their current squad, and building around that squad with just a few new players could see them improve even more.

Leeds United’s Jack Harrison is apparently on the Villans’ radar. The winger reportedly has a relegation clause in his contract, meaning he’ll be available for a cut-price fee.

While he’s not at the level of Champions League winner Asensio, he’s an experienced Premier League player, who’s had a good deal of personal success of late.

READ MORE: Emery demands £43m Aston Villa effort to sign complete defender who rejected Tottenham