Unai Emery reveals Jhon Duran transfer stance as Aston Villa face FFP headache

Jhon Duran rescued a point for Aston Villa against Liverpool earlier this week
Jhon Duran rescued a point for Aston Villa against Liverpool earlier this week -Credit:Photo by Joe Prior/Visionhaus via Getty Images

Unai Emery insists he is happy with Jhon Duran and wants to help him fulfil his potential at Aston Villa, but can't guarantee the striker will remain at the club this summer.

Duran has been eager for more playing opportunities this season with Ollie Watkins leading the line. Villa rejected a loan to buy offer from West Ham in January, while he was also of interest to Chelsea, although it is unclear if he remains a target for the Blues.

The Colombia international has scored five goals in 22 Premier League appearances this term, including a brace against Liverpool earlier this week. His goals salvaged a point for Villa before the club's qualification for the Champions League was confirmed on Tuesday night after Tottenham beat Manchester City.

READ | Aston Villa transfer state of play - FFP truth, key targets and possible summer exits

READ | Aston Villa can finally overcome familiar challenge in the summer transfer window

Despite entering UEFA's elite club competition, Emery admits Villa will have to be "intelligent" in the transfer market. The club is compliant with the Premier League's Profit and Sustainability Rules, but sales may have to be made to add new players to the squad this summer.

Duran has proven that he is a valuable member of the Villa squad after making an impact in many games this season, yet Emery suggested that his future at Villa is not certain.

"I believe in Jhon Duran," Emery said. "When we signed him, his process is being how we can make a plan. He is 20 years old and he was 19 years old when he arrived here. He’s progressively getting better. He’s adapting. Even this year.

"He started with an injury. He started playing in August or September, he didn’t have a pre-season. He was getting better and now he is in his best moment now. His adaptation wasn’t easy. Last year or this year.

"Now I think he’s showing his capacity as well, particularly in the last match [Liverpool]. He’s here because we wanted him and we want to keep him as well. We are thinking he can improve us, stay here and grow up with us. But, of course, always we have to be ready in case there’s something we have to do in the transfer window with every player - even him - but at the moment, I’m happy with him."

Emery added: "I speak to him a lot, individually and collectively about him, even with his agent because his agent helps with him as well. His potential is great, but he needs a plan and I am trying to do it.

"His numbers are more or less good, scoring some goals, some penalties as well through him we got. If we can analyse the minutes he played when he was competitive, I think he was helping us."