Aston Villa cannot reject baffling transfer bid as double move edges closer

Douglas Luiz
-Credit: (Image: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)


With the opening of the transfer window to come by the end of the week, Aston Villa have been laying down the groundwork to hastily wrap up a number of deals and secure the club's future once and for all.

The Premier League's Profit and Sustainability Rules have generated plenty of noise - not just in the West Midlands, but across the nation too. To stay in line with constraints ahead of the June 30 deadline, Villa have financial ground to make up otherwise risk facing an independent committee and whatever potential charges they could issue, in line with previous treatment of Everton and Nottingham Forest cases.

And so it would appear the club have identified two stars in particular they would be willing part ways with the fulfil their monetary requirements, no matter of stature or promise within Unai Emery's ranks.

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Here, Birmingham Live brings you latest from Villa Park on this tumultuous week of transfer news and gossip.

Jhon Duran talks accelerate for £40m exit

Out of the blue, Chelsea have reignited their interest in Jhon Duran with reports in Colombia and closer to home suggesting a £40m is either on verge of or already has been settled upon by the two clubs.

It is understood new manager Enzo Maresca and chiefs in West London had been analysing other targets - in particular RB Leipzig's Slovenian forward Benjamin Sesko. However, with his signature down on a new and improved contract in Germany, it has forced the Blues to turn to alternatives.

Unexpectedly, Duran is high on their list of targets and has now been lined up for a transfer worth more than double the £18m Villa forked out for the striker from Chicago Fire in January 2023.

Duran signed up to a five-year contract at Villa Park, but has so far been unable to displace the Premier League's top goal contributor of 2023/24, Ollie Watkins, making only 10 starts from 49 appearances. Especially in recent months, the 20-year-old has publicly flirted with the idea of a move to Stamford Bridge on social media.

Birmingham Live's James Quinlan says: Not all transfers work out in football, that is a painful lesson clubs learn the hard way and supporters have to come to terms with more often than not. In Duran's case, the incoming £40m for a player that has only scored eight times in claret and blue should certainly go a long way to softening that particular blow.

He has provided fine back-up for those ahead of him in the pecking order and produced moments of magic when required - that last home game of the season against Liverpool, on the precipice of UCL qualification, will never be forgotten.

But whilst it is a shame to see someone never get a real chance, Villa cannot feasibly turn down such a sum of money for a fringe player. Why Chelsea are willing to pay that much is baffling, but at least player and both clubs come out of negotiations happy.

Douglas Luiz for cash-plus-double-Juve-player swap deal

Talks have reached an advanced stage between Aston Villa and Juventus regarding the transfer of Douglas Luiz, with personal terms all that require negotiating.

The Brazilian has been a mainstay in Villa's starting line-up for five year's now, vastly improving during the 18 months that Emery has been at the helm. But 10 goals and 10 assists in all competitions does not go unnoticed amid the club's financial battles, and so the Italian giants have swooped to take advantage.

For a reported fee in the region of €20m (£16.8m), the midfielder will complete his move to Turin. From this alone it would seem the English team have got the short end of the bargain - especially having paid £15m for his services in the first place - however also arriving as part of the transaction are US midfielder Weston McKennie and English attacker Samuel Iling-Junior.

This will not only mean financial burdens are eased, but the squad gets an exciting facelift before any proper money is spent this summer. Villa will require strengthening in order to challenge on both domestic and Champions League fronts in the 2024/25 campaign.

Birmingham Live's James Quinlan says: Under normal circumstances Luiz should be untouchable, just as he was when Arsenal came knocking in 2022. In fact, the Gunners' mentioning brings about the strongest positive of this transfer.

Villa can take solace from that if they have to sell the Brazilian, it is not looking like it will be to a Premier League rival - especially one that stakes a claim to a top-four place. Instead he will travel far away to Italy, taking part in league matches with little concern to goings on over here. Villa would only be so unlucky to draw Juventus at any stage of the upcoming UCL campaign, meaning they would have to face their outgoing No.6.

As business goes too, any reluctance to part ways with Luiz is dampened by the arrival of the two Juve players in exchange. McKennie has been revitalised since returning to Turin following a poor loan spell at Leeds United last year, whilst Iling-Junior is an exciting prospect from Chelsea's academy that has turned down Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain in his short years in professional football.

Both have room to grow, flair in their positions and crucially add trophy-winning mentality to a squad that needs to prove their ability not only in the league, but by lifting other silverware alongside.

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