Aston Villa

Aston Villa

Premier League • England

Aston Villa transfers: Emery plots outrageous striker raid to embarrass Barcelona and get great deal

Joao Felix, Aston Villa

Joao Felix is on the radar of Aston Villa for this summer

Unai Emery is reportedly keen to get the best possible deal for a superstar striker, by beating Barcelona to the snare for Aston Villa after registering an interest.

Emery has done fantastic work in his short time at Villa so far. He hauled them from the bottom half to a seventh-placed Premier League finish in his first season, and secured fourth place the next season.

That means Villa will compete in the Champions League for the first time since the elite European competition was introduced next term, and Emery has begun building a squad for that.

He’s got Ian Maatsen through the door, who last season reached the final with Borussia Dortmund. And while Douglas Luiz was lost to Juventus, he made them pay by snatching Samuel Iling-Junior and Enzo Barrenchea.

Both players are in their early 20s and should develop into fantastic assets in the top flight, having learned their trade at one of the best clubs in Europe.

The next man on Emery’s radar is an absolutely massive name.

According to the Spanish media, Villa are one club in the mix for Atletico Madrid forward Joao Felix.

They are mostly vying with Barcelona, who had the Portuguese forward on loan last season – he scored 10 goals – and want to see him return again, but will apparently struggle to pay the £50million that Atletico want.

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Villa and Barca both want loan route

It’s said that Felix would therefore prefer a loan to Barca, as he wants to stay there whether or not they can pay for him.

Villa could potentially come in with an offer and ensure that isn’t possible, forcing Atletico to sell.

Given Emery is said to believe he can get the best version of Felix, that would not seem all that surprising.

But a subsequent report suggests he is not going to go after the striker via the permanent transfer route.

Indeed, it’s said Villa are also keen on the loan route for Felix.

It’s said they feel that presents them with the best deal possible, and is unsurprising given he’s been loaned out twice in the past two seasons.

It would be embarrassing for Barcelona if, after having the striker on loan last season, they were beaten to the chance to have him back again by a side who are not of the same stature, despite being on the up at present.

Felix, while keen on returning to the Spanish giants, is said to be taking time to assess his options this summer. That means that Villa have a chance of snaring him ahead of Barca.

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