Aston Villa are making progress in their pursuit of River Plate attacking midfielder Julian Alvarez, according to reports from Argentina.
It has been a busy start to the summer for Villa, who are looking to kick on after a mid-table finish last season. They have already signed Emiliano Buendia in a club-record transfer and are seeking further reinforcements. The attacking midfield territory remains a priority even after the addition of Buendia.
To that end, they were hoping to prise Emile Smith Rowe away from Arsenal. However, the Englishman has since signed a new long-term contract at the Emirates Stadium, where he will now wear the number 10 shirt.
Hence, Villa will have to look elsewhere. But it isn’t too much of a setback, because they have already been considering other options.
For example, earlier this month, it was reported that they were keeping tabs on Alvarez, who was a lesser-used part of the Argentina squad that won the 2021 Copa America.
His agent was expected in England and there were rumours that a bid could arrive. Now, such speculation has increased.
According to a recent report from TNT Sports, Villa will make a formal offer in the next few days. They reported this on Wednesday night, so a bid could well be imminent.
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The Argentine outlet speculates that international teammate and current Villa custodian Emiliano Martinez may have recommended him to the club.
River Plate need to raise funds and Alvarez is one of the players they could sacrifice, despite his importance to them increasing. Thanks to his higher market value and the fact he has admirers in Europe, they could sell him.
The report claimed the outcome of River Plate’s Copa Libertadores tie against Argentinos Juniors would be important. If they lost it, the chances of Alvarez being sold would increase. However, they went on to progress to the next round yesterday.
Even so, Alvarez could still be the subject of a tempting offer from Villa, who may be growing more confident in this particular pursuit.
Leon Bailey another option for Villa
Another winger who has been heavily linked with Villa since their Smith Rowe snub is Bayer Leverkusen’s Leon Bailey.
The Jamaica international has been linked with a host of Premier League clubs over recent years. However, his suitors have been dropping away one by one.
Of those that remain standing, Villa now seem to be the favourites for his signature…