By Villa News Speaking to Alan Hutton

17th May, 2023 | 7:10pm

Aston Villa 'can't stand still' under Unai Emery this summer as £52m Manuel Ugarte transfer news emerges

We’re delighted to welcome former Aston Villa full-back Alan Hutton as our exclusive columnist. Each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at Villa Park

Alan Hutton believes signings in the calibre of Sporting Lisbon midfielder Manuel Ugarte will be necessary for Aston Villa in their quest for regular European football.

The Sun recently reported (11 May) that Unai Emery is set to be given a war chest of up to £200million for this summer’s transfer window.

Emery is already in talks with Ugarte, 22, over a move to the West Midlands this summer, but Villa will have to cough up £52million to reach Sporting Lisbon’s valuation of the midfielder.

The likes of Liverpool, Tottenham and Newcastle have all been linked with the Uruguayan’s services this summer.

Speaking exclusively to Villa News, Hutton predicted Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens to use their funds wisely this summer and back Emery to the hilt after his extremely impressive Premier League campaign.

“Definitely,” he said when asked if this transfer is needed.

“You can’t stand still in the Premier League and when you want European football, that’s the kind of money, that’s the kind of fees that you’re going to have to be paying, and then you have wages on top of that.

“Players like Asensio, I know that’s on a free, which is a little bit different, Parejo from Villarreal as well, players like this, I know he’s 34 now, but he is very technical in midfield.

“And to get to the next level, you need players that have played in Europe and have this kind of European experience.

“We know how they can really go and kick you on, so it’s going to be an interesting summer because I think the manager will get backed.

“Obviously, the owners have spent their money wisely in the past, and they will do again for this manager, especially after what he’s done this season.”

The calibre of players that Aston Villa will be able to sign this summer is likely to hinge on the club’s quest for European football.

Emery’s side currently sits level with Tottenham in 7th place with just two games of the Premier League season remaining.

In other Aston Villa news, Emery has been urged to axe one three-pass flop after his struggles in the win against Tottenham.