Tottenham Hotspur were favourites to land Caleb Chukwuemeka before Aston Villa swooped in, Football Insider reports.
Villa signed Chukwuemeka, the older brother of midfielder Carney, for an undisclosed fee back in July (via Goal).
He was one of four signings for the Under-23s, alongside the West Bromwich Albion trio of Finley Thorndike, Finn Azaz and Tim Iroegbunam (via Transfermarkt).
The forward has already opened his account at Premier 2 Level, netting in a 1-1 draw with Fulham at the end of last month.
According to information from a recruitment source at FI, Spurs made the first move for Chukwuemeka, offering £1million plus add-ons. They were also willing to let 19-year-old striker Kion Ete join Northampton on loan as part of the deal.
But the player ultimately had his heart set on Villa after Johan Lange and co tabled a ‘lucrative’ professional contract and offered him the chance to play alongside his brother.
You suspect that Smith was so quick to give Chukwuemeka a senior run-out because he wanted to demonstrate that there’s a path to first-team football at Villa Park. Such assurances would have likely been given in the course of negotiations from the likes of Smith and Lange.
The benchmark for Chukwuemeka has been set by 18-year-old Louie Barry, who boasts an excellent return of 14 goals in 19 appearances in PL2 and is now looking to make the step-up to the men’s game at Ipswich Town.
The future is bright at Villa Park if Lange can continue to poach targets from ‘big six’ clubs.
In other news, fans react to this reported transfer snub.
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