Aston Villa: Villans in contact with Mikel Merino’s representatives
Aston Villa have been in contact with the representatives of Real Sociedad midfielder Mikel Merino, but a January move looks unlikely.
The Lowdown: Merino speculation
Merino appears to have been on Unai Emery’s Villa Park wishlist for a number of weeks. Reports towards the end of November claimed that Emery would love to sign the 26-year-old, who can play as a central or holding midfielder.
The Spain international has a €65m (£57m) release clause, with Villa seemingly having the financial power to complete a transfer, however, they haven’t had a positive response.
The Latest: Transfer update
Spanish outlet AS provided an update regarding Merino in the last 48 hours, where Villa were heavily mentioned. They claimed that the player’s representatives ‘have received proposals and calls’ from interested clubs, with Aston Villa one of the most persistent.
However, Merino has no plans to leave the La Liga side and intends to remain at the club beyond the January window.
The Verdict: Look elsewhere?
It seems as if Villa and Emery would love to sign the left-footed star in 2023, but it doesn’t look as if a move in the winter market has any chance of materialising.
How many signings do Villa need this month?
Therefore, the club may be better off looking at alternative targets in the short term, with Atletico Madrid’s Geoffrey Kondogbia seemingly another midfielder of interest.
Villa could even wait until the summer to try again for Merino and look at other areas of the pitch this month, possibly the new A-list forward that Emery has been after since arriving in the Midlands.