Discussions are now said to be underway between Aston Villa and Udinese for winger Gerard Deulofeu, as Unai Emery looks to bring a third fresh addition to his new club. The Villans have already signed Alex Moreno from Real Betis and Jhon Duran from Chicago Fire, but it seems the transfer business is not done yet.
The Lions are still without the “winger with different characteristics” that Emery has been so open about wanting at the football club and it has been widely reported that the Spaniard is eager to sign a new midfielder. Former Arsenal man Matteo Guendouzi is one name to be linked, as is Juventus star Weston McKennie.
For now, though, the latest update surrounds Deulofeu as Tutto Mercato claims talks are “in progress” for the ex-Everton and Watford forward. The 28-year-old struggled during his last spell in the Premier League as he scored just four goals and contributed only five assists in 30 appearances during the 2019/20 season, as Watford were relegated.
Since then, however, Deulofeu has got back to his best again with his 2020 transfer to Udinese. The versatile forward has recorded 32 direct goal contributions (18G, 14A) in just 67 matches across all competitions for the Italian side, putting himself back on the radar of Premier League clubs. Villa, being one of these, could hand the ex-Barcelona ace another shot in England.
Meanwhile, Wolves ‘turn down’ Liverpool approach
In other West Midlands football news, Villa’s local rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers have reportedly turned a blind eye to interest from Liverpool in midfielder Ruben Neves. Portuguese newspaper O Jogo claims that Wolves are not remotely interested in negotiating with any side for their star man this window, though this could change in the summer.
Neves, who joined Wanderers from FC Porto in July 2017 for around €17.9 million (£15.8 million), has scored 28 goals and contributed 12 assists in 235 appearances across all competitions. Before making the move to England, the midfielder recorded four goals and three assists in 93 games for Porto. His current market value is around €40 million (£35.4 million).
Speaking to The Times back in August, Neves hinted strongly at his desire to leave Wolves at some stage. He said: “I try to focus 100 per cent on my football and I had a good start to the season but we need results now. If you ask me at the end of last season I would have said to you, ‘I will leave,’ but I’m still here, so we never know what’s going to happen.”