The Lowdown: Chukwuemeka at Villa
Chukwuemeka, who can play as a central or attacking midfielder, has progressed into the first team after joining Villa’s academy back in 2016, and he has been labelled as ‘outstanding’ by Paul Merson for the quality of his performances.
However, Chukwuemeka is now into the final 12 months of his current deal, and it looks as if he could be on the move.
The Latest: Romano’s update
He revealed that Barcelona have a ‘serious interest’ in Chukwuemeka, with the Catalan giants viewing the teenager as a player with ‘huge potential’. The transfer expert added that Chukwuemeka would be available for ‘FIFA training compensation’ in January, which means that he could leave Villa Park for a meagre amount well below his £5.4m Transfermarkt valuation.
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The Verdict: Time to act
Providing that Villa keep hold of the youngster this summer, they will have a four-month window in which they will be able to tie Chukwuemeka down to a new long-term deal ahead of the January transfer window.
He appears to be a star of the future after progressing through the ranks for both club and country, so Villa may need to guarantee him regular game-time over the coming years in order for him to stay.
Steven Gerrard is thought to be ‘desperate’ to have Chukwuemeka at Villa Park for his first full season in charge, and hopefully the 18-year-old will be around for much longer despite the interest from Barcelona, who would be able to offer him Champions League football.
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