Aston Villa return for €25m target, set to battle Italian giant for his services

Julian Alvarez Aston Villa target

Aston Villa are back in for an Argentina international also targeted by AC Milan, according to reports.

The West Midlands outfit have benefitted hugely from their transfer outlay in recent seasons. Englishman Ollie Watkins scored 16 goals in his debut campaign after joining from Brentford in September last year.

The Villans also brought in Matty Cash from Nottingham Forest that month. He has become their first-choice right-back and scored in the recent 3-0 victory over Everton.

This summer, Dean Smith’s side was boosted by the arrivals of Emi Buendia, Danny Ings, Leon Bailey and Ashley Young. They all look set to play an important role as Villa fight for a top ten finish.

It looks like club chiefs are already looking ahead to the 2022 transfer windows.

Italian outlet Calciomercato (via Sport Witness) write that they are competing with AC Milan for a 21-year-old centre-forward.

That man is River Plate star Julian Alvarez. He has already notched seven goals in 11 league appearances this term.

Villa first targeted the Argentine in July. They entered transfer discussions but could not complete a deal.

Calciomercato state that Smith’s side remain interested in the player’s signature. They could launch a bid as early as January.

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However, Milan will put up a stern fight as they are long-term admirers of the player. Technical director Paolo Maldini is looking to sign Alvarez to bolster Stefano Pioli’s forward line.

Alvarez’s contract expires in December 2022. That means River Plate could be forced to sell to avoid a free transfer debacle.

His release clause has been set at €25million (£21.2m). That represents a decent fee for a youngster with an extremely high ceiling.

Alvarez is a product of River Plate’s famed academy setup. The South American giants have produced reported Leeds target Lucas Ocampos, former Spurs man Erik Lamela and West Ham playmaker Manuel Lanzini.

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Pundit gives verdict on Aston Villa star

talkSPORT pundit Gabby Agbonlahor believes John McGinn would be a good fit for Man Utd.

The 26-year-old has impressed at Villa Park since joining from Hibernian three years ago.

Agbonlahor said: “I say it everytime I see him play but when Fred gets on the ball, it’s just sloppy passes and he’ll give it away.

“Even when he’s in there to win the ball he doesn’t do that. I just don’t see why he’s in that team.

“There’s a lot of central midfielders who would walk into that Manchester United team. John McGinn, walks into that midfield.”

READ MORE: Smith hails ‘outstanding’ Tottenham star; reveals long list of things Villa got wrong