Aston Villa told Italy international not for sale as club chief takes Philippe Coutinho 'liberty'

Raoul Bellanova of Italy
-Credit: (Image: Claudio Villa/Getty Images)


Aston Villa boss Unai Emery says the club will have to be "intelligent" in the transfer market this summer, due to the constraints of the Profitability and Sustainability Rules (PSR).

But the club has done quite a bit of business so far with Lewis Dobbin having signed from Everton and Tim Iroegbunam heading the opposite way - both deals separate from one another. Villa also completed the £37.5m signing of Ian Maatsen from Chelsea and sold Douglas Luiz to Juventus.

Samuel Iling-Junior and Enzo Barrenechea have arrived from Juventus this month while Ross Barkley has made his return from Luton. There is also the exit of Philippe Coutinho on the agenda with Vasco de Gama in pole position to complete his signing. Here we take a look at the latest transfer headlines.

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Torino say Bellanova not for sale amid Villa interest

Torino have taken a firm stance on full-back Raoul Bellanova by insisting he is not for sale amid links to Aston Villa.

According to La Stampa, Torino have pulled down the shutters on a potential departure with Roma and West Ham also said to be interested.

Bellanova's stock has risen after joining Torino from Cagliari last year which saw him also join Inter Milan on loan.

He has been linked with a switch to the Premier League but according to reports, Torino are not willing to entertain any bids for him this summer.

Bellanova registered seven assists last season and Roma attempted a £15m move which was quickly shut down.

Coutinho update

Vasco de Gama president Pedrinho has issued an update on his bid to sign Philippe Coutinho on loan from Aston Villa.

The Brazilian club are eager to sign the former Liverpool playmaker who looks destined to leave the club on loan. A return to his homeland looks a safe bet with Vasco currently trying to find a breakthrough in the negotiations.

Addressing reporters, Pedrinho admitted conversations were still ongoing surrounding the deal with the former Barcelona star. Pedrinho said it is a taxing transfer to complete for Coutinho who has been on loan at Qatar club Al Duhail.

"Regarding Coutinho, I will take the liberty because I am the one who has been playing from the beginning," he said. "It is not a simple negotiation, as people think and say. Coutinho must lose his link with the Qatari club and also rent Aston Villa for a year. The bureaucracy is tedious and time-consuming and it is no one's fault, it is part of the process that needs to be addressed."

Martinez agent speaks

Emi Martinez's agent Gustavo Goni has been speaking about the goalkeeper's future after his penalty heroics against Ecuador sent Argentina into the Copa America semi-finals.

The Villa man saved two penalties in the shoot-out after Lionel Messi missed Argentina's first spot-kick. Incredibly, Martinez has conceded just 12 of the 24 penalties he has faced for his country, while La Albiceleste have won all four penalty shoot-outs when he has been in goal.

Martinez has won three trophies with Argentina, which is a greater number than he has lost games, having been defeated just twice in the 43 appearances he has made for his country. He has achieved an awful lot in the last 18 months for club and country - and he has made no apologies as he continues to set increasingly challenging goals on behalf of Villa.

And Martinez's agent Goni said: "We don’t know where he will play, we are in conversations. Aston Villa want to keep him at all costs. He is priceless.

"Maradona was a great player for Napoli and didn’t stop being the best in the world for being at Napoli. I always tell him he has the opportunity to repeat the same feat at Aston Villa. Today he is part of one of the best projects.

"Last year we were close to Manchester United, but the manager then opted to sign Andre Onana because he already knew him. But all those at Manchester maintained that the ideal goalkeeper to win with was Emiliano Martinez."

Goni added: "He is in one of the best projects and one of the best sporting directors in the world alongside one of the most prestigious coaches. They qualified for Champions League, when no one believed they were going to do it.

"A goalkeeper like Emiliano, who turns everything into a box of surprises, maybe he ends up competing on a large scale. But it’s not all said, we are looking, listening, and we will see."

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