Aston Villa: Villans eyeing Alex Baena
Aston Villa are interested in signing another Villarreal player, with attacking midfielder Alex Baena a target for Monchi and Unai Emery.
What’s the latest Aston Villa transfer news involving Baena?
The Villans haven’t wasted any time in bolstering their squad ahead of Emery’s first full season, with an agreement already wrapped up for midfielder Youri Tielemans.
It now looks as if NSWE are close to breaking their club’s transfer record to sign Villarreal defender Pau Torres, with the centre-back previously making over 100 appearances under Emery. Talks are progressing smoothly over a deal for the 26-year-old, and it seems as if he could be joined by a teammate in Baena.
Sport Witness relayed an update from Spanish outlet AS regarding Baena in the last 48 hours. They claimed that Aston Villa and Barcelona are the two sides who are ‘most interested’ in signing the player this summer, with Baena described as one of the ‘revelations’ of the La Liga side last season.
Emery considers Baena as a ‘strategic signing’ for Aston Villa and a transfer could cost those at Villa Park around €50m (£42.5m).
Who is Alex Baena?
Baena is 21 years of age and is primarily an attacking midfielder who can also play on the wing if needed and appears to be going from strength to strength, with his Transfermarkt valuation now at a career-high €20m.
The Spain U21 international has progressed through Villarreal’s youth system and actually shares the same agency as Villa defender Ezri Konsa.
He has scored 14 goals and registered 12 assists in 69 Villarreal first-team appearances, with 18 of those goal contributions coming in 36 games under Emery.
Hailed as “spectacular” in the media last season, Baena would offer plenty of versatility to Emery’s squad, with FBref comparing him to Manchester City star Kevin de Bruyne and Arsenal’s Martin Odegaard.
FBref rank Baena in the 99th percentile for midfielders when it comes to through balls and shots, so he could be a really exciting signing both in the short and long run at Villa Park, and by the looks of it, he could follow Torres from Villarreal to Villa.