Aston Villa manager Unai Emery has not been shy about his desire to bring the best and the brightest to the Midlands from La Liga.
Already, Aston Villa have brought in Real Betis left-back Alex Moreno, one of just many that Villa have been linked to over the January transfer window, including Mikel Merino and a shock move for Dani Parejo.
There is one target he won’t be getting though. Real Sociedad Sporting Director Roberto Olabe has signed a new three-and-a-half year deal with the club, stating that what concerns him is ‘how and how much he can help La Real’. As per MD, Emery was keen to bring Olabe to Villa in order to help his recruitment effort in the Premier League.
Together with manager Imanol Alguacil, Olabe has turned Real Sociedad into one of the most consistent and best-run clubs in Spain. Over the last three seasons, the Txuri-Urdin have finished 6th twice and 5th once, qualifying for Europe on each occasion and winning a Copa del Rey. Currently they sit third in La Liga, just three points behind Real Madrid, despite losing star striker Alexander Isak late in the summer window. A vast number of academy talents are excelling under Alguacil, while the likes of Takefusa Kubo, Mikel Merino and Brais Mendez have turned out to be excellent bets.