Unai Emery greenlights Aston Villa signing of Barcelona target – available at bargain price

Villarreal midfielder Alex Baena caused ripples last weekend in the mediasphere, not just for his hat-trick of assists against Rayo Vallecano, but for admitting afterwards that he would love to play for Barcelona. However Unai Emery is keen to pounce for a player he handed a debut to.

Baena, 22, currently leads La Liga for assists with 12 to his name, and across all competitions, has 21 goal contributions this season with five games to go. His talent is no secret, and he recently earned a second call-up to the Spanish national team.

Barcelona have been linked with him in the past, and in addition to Emery, Xavi Hernandez is said to be a big fan of the versatile playmaker – incidentally the two coaches use the same analysis software. Earlier in the week, Villarreal President Fernando Roig confirmed that they had not received any approaches for Baena, who has a €60m release clause.

Matteo Moretto has revealed to Football España that not only does Emery want to sign him, but he could be available for much less than his release clause, with a possible fee between €30-40m enough to extract him from La Ceramica.

If that deal does go through, it will no doubt grate with Barcelona fans, as their club’s finances prohibit them from bringing in arguably the rising star in La Liga currently. Despite a difficult season for Villarreal, Baena has continued to shine throughout, and it is not hard to see why Emery is so keen on him.

Tags Alex Baena Aston Villa Barcelona Unai Emery Xavi Hernandez
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