Aston Villa told they must obliterate transfer record to sign Arsenal target, as price puts Emery swoop under threat

Pedro Goncalves and Sebastian Rode, Sporting vs Eintracht Frankfurt

Pedro Goncalves and Sebastian Rode during Sporting vs Eintracht Frankfurt

Aston Villa have been told they must shatter their transfer record to sign Pedro Goncalves from Portuguese side Sporting, as per a report.

Goncalves is a 25-year-old winger who can operate on either flank or play in central midfield. He is one of several Sporting players who could head to the Premier League this summer, with team-mates Goncalo Inacio and Marcus Edwards also linked with English clubs.

Goncalves enjoyed a brilliant season in 2022-23, registering 20 goals and 15 assists in 51 games across all competitions. That excellent form helped Sporting to reach the final of the Portuguese cup, the quarter-finals of the Europa League and finish fourth in the Primeira Liga table.

By far Goncalves’ best moment of the campaign came against Arsenal in the second leg of their Europa League last-16 tie. He sensationally lobbed Gunners goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale with a 46-yard strike to drag Sporting level and take the tie to extra time. They won 5-3 on penalties but were eliminated in the next round by Juventus.

The Portuguese, who has won two caps for his country’s national side, caught the eye of several teams with that goal. Aston Villa and Tottenham were soon backed to capture him, while Arsenal were tipped to pair him in midfield with Declan Rice on June 8.

It seems like Villa are the only Premier League side still interested in Goncalves, with Arsenal and Spurs moving onto other targets. And Portuguese outlet Jornal de Noticias have now provided an update on the situation, as cited by Sport Witness.

The report reveals both Villa and Italian giants Inter have approached Sporting to discover if they would be open to selling their player this summer.

Sporting have attempted to put Goncalves’ potential suitors off by revealing the huge sum either club will have to pay to snare him. They have told Villa and Inter to match Goncalves’ €80million (£68.3m) release clause.

Aston Villa quoted huge price for Pedro Goncalves

A transfer at this price would see Villa smash their current record signing. That is Emi Buendia, who joined the Villans from Norwich for an initial £33m. The deal had the potential to be worth £38-40m depending on add-ons.

Inter’s record signing, meanwhile, is striker Romelu Lukaku. He first joined the Nerazzurri in a £73m deal from Manchester United in August 2019.

Unfortunately for Villa, it does not look like they will be capturing Goncalves ahead of next season. The report states that Unai Emery’s team feels that £68.3m fee is way too much and will therefore not be paying it.

Although, Villa could still end up landing the versatile star at some point in the future. Goncalves, whose current contract expires in June 2026, wants to sort out a fresh deal where he can become Sporting’s new highest earner.

But if Sporting do not want to meet his demands, then they may be forced into selling Goncalves in one of the next few transfer windows, which will allow Villa to pounce.