Serie A

Exclusive: Emery makes Watkins sale position clear as Villa target $32.5m Arsenal flop

Exclusive: Emery makes Watkins sale position clear as Villa target $32.5m Arsenal flop

Aston Villa are looking to build on their Champions League qualification of 2023/24 by strengthening multiple roles across the team.

The Villans are understood to be particularly targeting midfield reinforcements, according to sources close to CaughtOffside. Unai Emery has asked for a player matching a specific skillset; Adrien Rabiot and failed Arsenal transfer Mattéo Guendouzi are among the main profiles on the shortlist.

The Premier League outfit should be warned that the possibility of a three-year contract renewal with Juventus has reopened. This follows a meeting between the Frenchman’s mother and the Old Lady’s executives, who have been informed of Villa and Manchester United’s concrete interest in the footballer.

Matteo Guendouzi to return to England? – (Photo by Marco Rosi – SS Lazio/Getty Images)

Lazio are considered willing to part ways with Guendouzi, who is valued at around €30m [£25.5m / $32.5m]. The Serie A club have already rejected one proposal from Everton, with another coming from English top-flight rivals Newcastle United. West Ham are also deemed an interested suitor.

Up top, Aston Villa are prioritising the arrival of a new winger. Pedro Neto (Wolves) and Eberechi Eze (Crystal Palace) are rising up the shortlist. They may encounter some competition in the form of Tottenham whose interest is understood to be serious. Emile Smith-Rowe remains on Arsenal’s exit list, but Emery’s side has yet to make a concrete move for the 23-year-old.

Would Aston Villa sell Ollie Watkins?

Ollie Watkins has been a standout offensive performer in the Premier League – (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)

Aston Villa have absolutely no desire to sell Ollie Watkins in the upcoming summer window unless a multitude of clubs make their interest – and big offers – known.

The England international has become the Midlands outfit’s key star and Unai Emery has no interest in letting him go.

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