Report names first Aston Villa signing of Mateu Alemany era as Arsenal target with three Champions League medals wanted

Mateu Alemany of Barcelona

A report has revealed which player Mateu Alemany wants to sign for Aston Villa as a priority this summer, in a move which would see Premier League rivals Arsenal lose out.

On May 2, Barcelona revealed director of football Alemany would leave his role at the Nou Camp at the end of the season. His contract with the Spanish giants runs until June 2024, but he has requested it be terminated so he can start fresh elsewhere.

Villa soon emerged as the frontrunners to land Alemany. And according to Fabrizio Romano, Villa have reached a ‘full agreement’ for the Spaniard to become their next sporting director. It seems it is now just a matter of time before his arrival in the West Midlands is confirmed by the club.

Alemany will work alongside Villa boss Unai Emery to help the club reach the next stage of their exciting project. Given Alemany and Emery’s history in Spain, Villa could end up landing some top La Liga players.

And Spanish newspaper Marca have named the star Alemany wants to land for Villa first. The man in question is Real Madrid winger Marco Asensio.

The 27-year-old has been heavily linked with Arsenal in recent months due to his contract situation in the Spanish capital. His Real terms expire at the end of June, meaning Arsenal could pick him up on a free transfer.

READ MORE: Aston Villa can complete signing of the summer with Liverpool-linked PSG star available for shockingly low price

However, Marca reveal how Alemany wants to scupper such plans as he has gotten Villa in the frame for Asensio’s capture. Asensio is ‘one of the first’ names Alemany will tell the Villa owners to sign.

It makes sense that Villa’s prospective new chief wants to sign the Spain international. Alemany has tried to sign Asensio on a couple of occasions previously for Barca as he rates him incredibly highly.

Aston Villa to pull off Real Madrid raid?

Villa would normally struggle to land Asensio, given the fact Arsenal are interested and they have pushed hard to win the Premier League title. Plus, Asensio’s priority is to actually remain at Real, with whom he has won three Champions Leagues and three La Liga crowns.

However, Villa have been in great form since Emery has taken charge, moving themselves up to eighth in the Prem. There is a chance they could be playing in next season’s Europa League if results go their way. This will help to show the wide man that Villa are going in the right direction.

Alemany will also be able to offer Asensio an enticing salary if he goes to Villa. The report claims Villa are willing to double his wage from €4m to €8m per year.

One factor which must be noted is that Alemany has agreed to remain at Barca towards the start of the summer window to finalise their transfer plans. Due to this, Villa must wait until Alemany has completed his dealings in Catalonia before they can benefit from him heading up their own transfer pursuits.

While this is a slight negative, it still looks set to be an exciting few years for Villa fans with both Emery and Alemany at the helm.

Meanwhile, Villa have emerged into serious contenders as numerous clubs race to sign a Villarreal talent.