Aston Villa will open talks to sign £35m Newcastle target Emery ‘loves’
Former Arsenal midfielder Matteo Guendouzi could still reunite with Unai Emery at Aston Villa with the Premier League outfit ‘expected’ to begin talks with the Marseille star over the coming weeks.
Emery, like Erik ten Hag at Manchester United, Ange Postecoglou at Celtic, seems to be constructing his summer plans around players he knows and trusts.
Already, Reiss Nelson, Pau Torres and Samuel Chukwueze – who all worked with the experienced Spaniard at Arsenal and Villarreal respectively – have been linked with moves to Villa Park. Guendouzi too; the Birmingham Mail reporting that the poodle-haired France international is one of the club’s ‘top targets’.
Will Aston Villa beat West Ham and Newcastle to Matteo Guendouzi?
Marseille, FootMercato say, are ready to cash in on Guendouzi. Chelsea misfit Denis Zakaria could be his replacement.
Emery showed a great deal of trust in the one-time PSG youngster during their time together at the Emirates Stadium – handing a then-teenage Guendouzi a major part in his Arsenal plans – and the Birmingham Mail believe that a reunion appeals greatly to a man who has matured substantially during his time at the Stade Velodrome.
“The focus for Aston Villa is Guendouzi. Yes, absolutely they want this player,” Fabrizio Romano recently said on his House of Champions podcast. “Unai Emery is in love with this player.”
Guendouzi will cost around £35 million. An ambitious Aston Villa side won’t be put off by the size of his price-tag; Guendouzi potentially reuniting with former Marseille team-mate Boubacar Kamara in claret-and-blue.
West Ham United and Newcastle are reportedly keen too (The Athletic). The Emery factor should give Aston Villa an advantage, however. Talks should soon get underway with just four games remaining in Marseille’s season.
“He was very young,” Emery said of Guendouzi during their time together at Arsenal. “His wish to adapt very quickly, as well as his quality, is very good for us. He started playing and training with (the first-team). His progress during the season was amazing.”
An Unai Emery reunion?
Guendouzi has five goals and five assists this season; adding real end-product to his tenacity and technique.
“If he were to leave, I would be in mourning,” says Eric Di Meco, a four-time Ligue 1 champion with Marseille. “I really like this player. For me, Guendouzi is the X-factor.
“He has something about him. He runs everywhere, he puts his foot in, he is unbearable (to play against). He’s a great player. Last year, he had a great season. This season, he is not playing in his best role. I feel like Tudor likes him a little higher up the pitch.
“He’s done that (new, more attacking role) with a lot of drive and talent too.
“Unfortunately, a French club like OM cannot compete with the English league.”