By Jonty Banks

11th May, 2023 | 8:10pm

Unai Emery lure remains key for Matteo Guendouzi signing as £30m+ Aston Villa transfer news emerges

Working with renowned European winner Unai Emery remains a brilliant pulling factor for Aston Villa as they enter a potentially game-changing transfer window.

The Sun reported (11 May) that the Spaniard is set to be given a war chest of £200million to spend as he looks to build a squad capable of entering the upper echelons of the Premier League.

And one deal which captured the headlines in the January transfer window and looks to be on the cards once more is that of Matteo Guendouzi.

CaughtOffside reported that Villa tried and failed to sign the France international in the winter window, with Emery looking to use his prior links with Guendouzi from his time at Arsenal to help get the deal over the line.

L’Equipe shared (20 April) that a fee of around £35million is now expected to be enough to get a deal for the Marseille player over the line this summer.

However, any potential move to Villa Park could well depend on the club’s ability to qualify for European football this season, with Emery’s side currently sitting two points off Spurs in 6th position with three games of the season remaining.

“I still think a move to Villa would be more likely [than West Ham] if they qualify for Europe,” CBS journalist Jonathan Johnson wrote in his CaughtOffside column on Thursday (11 May).

“I think the lure of working with Emery is quite strong, so it’s just a question of whether or not they do qualify for the Europa League or Europa Conference League.”

Guendouzi has come on leaps and bounds from the player who Emery worked with at the Emirates Stadium, and his versatility across a number of midfield positions makes him an attractive asset.

The 24-year-old is well suited to the Spaniard’s passing-orientated gameplan, sitting in the 98th percentile of European midfielders for pass completion success rate (86.2%) over the last year and in the top 11% for passes attempted (52.98 per 90) and progressive passes (6.77 per 90). [FBREF]

However, if Aston Villa were to use Guendouzi in a wide midfield position, the likes of which John McGinn and Jacob Ramsey have played over recent months, the France international would have to improve his goal output.

Guendouzi has averaged just 0.07 non-penalty goals per 90 over the last year and 1.19 shots per 90, two records that leave him among the bottom 5% of European midfielders.

Despite these attacking flaws, the France international looks fairly priced at a fee of £35million and is a move that Aston Villa should investigate when the window opens.

In other Aston Villa news, the club should go all guns blazing for a £60million signing that Gabby Agbonlahor named a “superstar”.