Price tag emerges as Aston Villa ‘shift’ focus to Newcastle target with ‘raw technical ability’

Latest transfer news as Aston Villa turn their attention to a Newcastle United target who, according to his manager, has “raw technical ability”.

Aston Villa have reportedly been told how much they will have to pay to bring transfer target Luiz Henrique to the club this winter. Having missed out on a club-record move for Spain international forward Nico Williams, Unai Emery is said to have shifted his attention to Henrique as the next best option.

The Real Betis winger has netted just once this season in La Liga, but he has scored two goals and assisted two more in the UEFA Europa League. Beginning to progress with his footballing intelligence and his physicality, Henrique has been the subject of interest from the likes of Manchester United, Newcastle United, Arsenal, and Napoli.

His current manager, Manuel Pellegrini, won’t be surprised by such intrigue from clubs as he has been very vocal about Henrique’s ability. Quoted by Tribal Football earlier this season, Pellegrini said: “He started getting used to how he must play here in Europe, I think he will be a really important player for us this season. He has one against one [ability], he has good skills. I am very happy for him.

“He is a very young player and it’s not easy to come directly from Brazil to Europe – a lot of players need some time to adapt to the way they must play here but I think Luiz Henrique is on the correct path to being a successful player here in Europe.”

With so much demand for Henrique’s services, Betis have reportedly set out a price tag for the 22-year-old. Spanish publication Mucho Deporte claims that interested teams - including Villa - will have to pay €60 million (£52 million) to reach an agreement. This is around £7 million more than what the Lions were willing to shell out for Williams, who is two years younger.

Luiz Henrique celebrates after scoring his team’s second goal during the UEFA Europa League group C match vs AS Roma.

Emery will be very aware that there isn’t long left in the January transfer window, however, and he will know all too well that getting such a big move done in the winter is no easy feat. This is especially the case with other teams - namely Newcastle and Man Utd - on the case with far superior finances.

Henrique may be worth fighting for, though, as he matches Emery’s desire for a “winger with different characteristics.” Speaking to DAZN earlier this month, Pellegrini said: “We saw his technical and tactical ability, with a lot of projection and a great future. I hope he continues to grow. He still has much more to give.” The Villans have a matter of days to get a deal done, with the deadline set for 11pm on January 31.