Aston Villa’s incoming football director Mateu Alemany is already working on transfer deals for three La Liga based players ahead of his anticipated arrival in Birmingham this summer. Alemany remains in post at Barcelona in an advisory role before his official exit at the end of June, reports AS, and in the meantime he is already preparing to hit the ground running.
Villa are expected to flex their financial muscles and will back boss Unai Emery this summer, after his excellent return at the Lions helm since arriving at the club back in October. Owners NSWE’s long-term plans for the club are ambitious and they’re prepared to support the Spaniard, who will be joined by Alemany before the beginning of next season, and the recruitment is likely to reflect that.
They’re not expected to hang around, either. The upgrading of the squad and the targeting of key personnel is already well underway, which could lead to a Spanish influx if Alemany is able to secure deals for the three players who are mentioned by AS. At Barca, where he has worked for the last couple of years, there is Ferran Torres, the former Manchester City forward, who it’s reported will be available for £40million and the Catalans are willing to let him go.
Alex Baena, 21, is well known to Emery from their time together at Villarreal; the 21-year-old winger, who is rated as being worth in the region of £30m, is of interest to Arsenal and Liverpool and signed a new contract with Villarreal which runs until the summer of 2028. He scored ten times in 43 appearances last year.
Then there is central midfielder Marco Asensio, of Real Madrid. The 27-year-old’s contract with Los Blancos is actually due to expire this summer and, although he reportedly has the offer of fresh terms on the table, he is seeking clarity as to the role he’ll have in the squad next term before agreeing to extend his stay – that’s amid potential competition for places in the form of Jude Bellingham.
Honestly, I don’t know what will happen. I have not thought about it or weighed it up. I can’t give an answer right now,” Asensio said recently when asked about his future. “[The speculation] is normal. From January, I am free to sign for another club. A lot more will come out. I had 200 messages this morning [regarding the Barcelona speculation]. I am in a world where there are a lot of rumours, I can’t control that.”
Asensio is represented by the same agent as Emery, Jorge Mendes, who himself remains close to Villa’s chairman and co-owner Nassef Sawiris as well as incoming transfer chief Alemany.