Aston Villa are prepared to bide their time for a potential upgrade on Danny Ings and Ollie Watkins.
That’s according to transfer insider Dean Jones, who was speaking to GiveMeSport.
Villa paid £30.6million to sign Watkins from Brentford in the summer of 2020, and he ranks as the second most expensive addition in their history behind Emiliano Buendia.
A year later, Danny Ings arrived from Southampton in another costly deal, this time £26.5million.
The Daily Mirror (via The Birmingham Mail) reported as early as April that Steven Gerrard wanted to bring in another no. 9 this summer in an attempt to level up.
Jones says that Villa will want a higher level of ‘output’ from their striking options than the incumbent duo can necessarily provide.
But he says Villa won’t pounce until there’s a near ‘guarantee’ of making an improvement.
“In attack, it’s got to be somebody that is an upgrade on Watkins and Ings in terms of what they’re going to bring you in output,” he said.
“There are a lot of players of a similar level to Watkins and Ings, but I think the feeling is that if there’s not a guarantee that we’re going to get more goals out of this guy, then we will just wait because somebody else will still become available in this window.”
Which striker could Villa look to bring in?
Well, 90Min report that they’re ‘keeping tabs’ on Flamengo no. 9 Gabriel Barbosa with a view to a potential move.
Barbosa, 25, has scored 104 goals in 160 games for the Brazilian outfit, but is yet to prove he can deliver in Europe, so the move would be a risk from that of point of view.
And then there’s the veteran option in the form of Luis Suarez, who’s currently without a club after leaving Atletico Madrid.
The Athletic’s Gregg Evans reported in June that Gerrard was considering a move for his former team-mate.
The 436-goal hitman would potentially offer short-term guarantees, but at the age of 35, wouldn’t address Villa’s concerns further down the line.
It is, then, an intriguing dilemma.
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