Aston Villa well positioned to sign La Liga assist king this summer with Unai Emery link

Villarreal creator Alex Baena hit the headlines on Sunday evening after admitting that he would be delighted to play for Barcelona. Despite interest from the Catalan side, his next destination is much more likely to be in England by the looks of things.

Aston Villa are believed to be interested in Baena, and Diario AS say that manager Unai Emery would give the green light to Sporting Director Monchi to spend big on him. The 22-year-old currently leads La Liga for assists this season, with 12 to his name, after notching a hat-trick of them on Sunday night against Rayo Vallecano. Only Bayer Leverkusen’s Alex Grimaldo has more this season in Europe’s top five leagues.

Baena expressed a desire to play for Barcelona after the Rayo match, but the chances of the Catalans being able to pay his €60m release clause are slim. The Yellow Submarine believe they can find a buyer at that price, which is where Villa and Emery come in. While at Villarreal, Emery handed Baena his debut, and put his faith in the playmaker, meaning the youngster has a good relationship with him.

Atletico Madrid are also interested in Baena, but once again, their capacity to compete financially for him seems far more limited. Versatile and capable of playing anywhere behind a striker or in midfield, Baena has a total of 21 goal contributions in 41 games, despite a difficult season at La Ceramica. Few would bet against him being in the Spain squad for the Euros either, having been called up in the March international break.

Tags Alex Baena Aston Villa Atletico Madrid Barcelona Villarreal
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