Barcelona

Report: Barcelona now in advanced talks to sign £34m Aston Villa target, 4-year contract offered

According to AS, Barcelona are now in advanced talks to sign Kalidou Koulibaly, who Aston Villa want to bring to the Premier League.

What’s the story?

Well, it was Tutto Mercato Web who revealed that Steven Gerrard wants to sign the Senegal international, who is considered one of the best in Europe.

Now, however, Barcelona appear to be closing in.

AS believe the Spanish giants are in advanced talks with Napoli over a deal for the 30-year-old, with the Italian side demanding €40m (£34m).

Interestingly, the report claims that Barcelona have even offered Koulibaly a contract, which runs until June 2026.

By the sounds of it, talks with the defender himself are going very well, although it’s Napoli who Barcelona are struggling to negotiate with.

AS state that talks between the Spaniards and the Italians have not been too productive, as Napoli are refusing to lower their asking price, nor will they accept any kind of player-plus-cash deals.

So far this season, Koulibaly has made 31 appearances in all competitions, scoring three goals while also providing two assists.

Aston Villa can hijack Barcelona talks

In our view, Aston Villa still have a shot at signing Koulibaly, even though Barcelona are in advanced talks with the player himself.

If the Villans can strike an agreement with Napoli, then they will have succeeded where Barcelona are currently failing.

Then, the move will just come down to satisfying Koulibaly’s personal demands, which shouldn’t be an issue for Aston Villa, who have money to spend.

In truth, £34m for a player of Koulibaly’s quality is a bargain, so we see no reason why Gerrard wont urge his employers to meet that sum.

Perhaps one thing which might give the Premier League side second thoughts is the defender’s age – he turns 31 next month, so his arrival would not carry much resale value.

Nevertheless, keep an eye on this situation, as anything could happen this summer.

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