Unai Emery delight as Aston Villa discover Barcelona star wants summer switch, with Mateu Alemany to unlock deal and leave Arsenal frustrated

Ferran Torres and Ansu Fati

Ferran Torres and Ansu Fati celebrate Spain goal

Aston Villa have a great opportunity to sign a Barcelona star this summer after finding out he is open to moving to England, while Arsenal could lose out as Unai Emery’s team have an ace card to play in Mateu Alemany.

On May 3, Fabrizio Romano revealed Villa had made a ‘formal proposal’ to Alemany, Barcelona’s departing director of football. The chief had other options on the table at that point, but Villa’s was the ‘most concrete’.

The West Midlands side have now reached a full agreement with Alemany. It seems it is only a matter of time before they announce his appointment.

Alemany’s potential arrival at Villa Park led to rumours the club might snare players such as Raphinha and Ansu Fati, due to his connections in Spain. But the most likely player to swap Barcelona for Villa appears to be former Manchester City attacker Ferran Torres.

On May 5, reports outlined Villa’s interest in both Torres and Juventus striker Dusan Vlahovic. At the moment, it seems they are prioritising a move for Torres.

In a boost for Villa, Football Insider have provided a promising update on the Spaniard’s future by revealing he is ‘open to a Premier League return’ later this year.

READ MORE: Aston Villa tipped to disrupt Man Utd plans with spectacular €30m signing that’ll punish Juventus misstep

Torres has fond memories of England, having scored 16 goals in 43 matches for City. The main reason he left was because a Barca transfer was too good to turn down.

But Barca have now put him up for sale to drum up funds as they attempt to re-sign Lionel Messi, and this has resulted in Torres emerging onto Villa’s radar.

The 23-year-old will likely be attracted by the prospect of playing for Villa given the progress they have made under Emery and the exciting football they have been playing recently.

Alemany can help Villa secure coup

Arsenal will be left angry if Torres heads to Villa. Mikel Arteta is a fan of the winger, who can also operate at centre-forward. Arsenal have been keeping tabs on him ever since Barca put him up for sale, but they are now at serious risk of losing out on the transfer.

Villa now need to enter initial talks with Barca to find out how much money they will have to pay for Torres. transfermarkt value him at €30m (£26m), although Barca will probably hold out for more than this.

The good news for Villa is that Alemany should help them secure a discount on Torres’ transfer fee.

Despite Torres’ great pedigree, he will have to play very well to force his way into Emery’s starting eleven on a regular basis. Ollie Watkins has been in sensational form up front, while the likes of Emi Buendia and Jacob Ramsey have supported him well. However, Torres will back himself to make a big impact if his Villa switch goes ahead.

Meanwhile, Villa’s move for a La Liga star is under threat from Newcastle, according to the latest reports.