By Mark Smith

19th Jun, 2023 | 11:10am

Aston Villa want to sign Villareal midfielder Alejandro Baena this summer, according to AS.

The Spanish outlet has reported on its website that the Villans will challenge Barcelona for the sensation’s signature ahead of their return to European football.

Villareal are said to value the 24-year-old at £42.6million, despite them having a clause in his contract that currently stands higher at £ 51.1million.

Villareal are said to be stained with gold ahead of a summer of potential exits, with Nicolas Jackson also set to join Chelsea in the Premier League, too.

Aston Villa are said to know the price it will take to sign Baena, which insinuates that they have been in contact already with the club they poached Unai Emery from earlier in the season.

Given Barcelona’s financial struggles, though, it is said that Villa have more options when it comes to getting his transfer over the line.

The imminent arrival of Monchi from Sevilla could certainly help this and many more transfers.

With Emery at the helm, you can expect Villa to target the Spanish market, even more, this summer after the arrivals of Diego Carlos and Alex Moreno last summer.

There have already been strong links to Baena and Nico Williams as two examples, with strong pulling power at the club in high positions in the form of Emery and Mochi.

Midfield appears to be an area that Emery wants to pack out with Youri Tielemans already signing on too, with central players filling inverted winger roles.

This is very interesting and something that could Baena down to a tee given that he scored 12 times and added six assists throughout last season.

This is certainly one to watch at Villa Park, and one that could be done very quickly with Barcelona sniffing around, despite the financial issues at play.

In other Aston Villa news, Emi Martinez could be set to stay after the latest Fabrizio Romano transfer news