Aston Villa and Unai Emery hoping to repeat transfer trick with ‘offer’ for £51m man

Aston Villa transfer news and rumours after the summer window

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Aston Villa are reportedly eyeing up an ambitious swoop for Villarreal star Alex Banea ahead of the winter transfer window. It has been a mixed start to the season for Villa, who have shown defensive fragility against better sides like Newcastle United and Liverpool, while they have looked a lot better against lesser sides like Everton and Burnley.

Unai Emery will be expected to get Villa competing for Europe this season after some bold moves during pre-season. However, Villa also have a potential path to Europe through the Conference League, a tournament they will be looking to win this season.

Villa were brave during the summer window, but they are likely to need more weapons come January, and they may already be lining up a move. According to Fichajes, Emery could continue his shopping at former club Villarreal after snatching away Pau Torres ona bargain £30million deal during the summer.

It’s claimed Villa are interested in Villarreal and Spain star Baena, who has been one of the standout performers in La Liga so far this season, while he also impressed last year with his contribution from midfield. Baena started his career as a winger, but he has been used more centrally by the Yellow Submarine for the most part.

Villa are said to have made a proposal for Baena, but they are likely to meet a much more firm Villarreal this time around. The Yellow Submarine’s finances are sitting pretty after the sale of Torres, Nicolas Jackson and Samu Chukweueze during the summer, while their biggest signing was Alexander Sorloth for around £7.5million.

Villarreal - who changed managers over the weekend - only recently tied Baena down to a new contract until 2028, and as part of that deal, Baena’s release clause was raised to £51.4million, with the Yellows well aware that it was only a matter of time until clubs came knocking for the midfielder. Given their summer sales, Villarreal are likely to demand that number or close to it this winter.