Aston Villa

Aston Villa: Lange ready to bring Sporting’s £70m-rated Goncalves to Villa Park

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Aston Villa are the ‘most interested’ club in Sporting Lisbon’s Pedro Goncalves, according to reports.

What’s the latest on Aston Villa’s interest in Pedro Goncalves?

According to Jornal de Noticias (via Sport Witness), Aston Villa are the ‘most interested’ club in Goncalves, who is now being represented by super agent Jorge Mendes.

The piece suggests that Gonçalves’ current agent, Jorge Pires, has reached an agreement to form a partnership with Mendes ahead of potential attention from overseas this summer, with Mendes now handling interest in the attacking midfielder from abroad.

The 24-year-old has a contract at Sporting until 2026 and is locked into a release clause worth €80m (£70m) – as per the report.

Villa sporting director Johan Lange will be hoping he can negotiate a lower price, as meeting the release clause would smash the club’s previous transfer record of £33m paid for Emiliano Buendia in 2021.

Why are Villa interested in Goncalves?

Sporting CP's Pedro Goncalves during the warm up before the match

Pedro Goncalves is a Portuguese winger who began his career in the Wolves academy, before signing for Liga Portugal side FC Famalicao in 2019 and moving on to Sporting Lisbon in 2020.

He is enjoying an excellent season with Sporting, scoring thirteen and assisting nine times in 26 league matches and scoring three times and assisting once in four Europa League games.

His latest European goal was an incredible effort from near the centre circle in Leoes’ victory over Arsenal to progress to the Europa League quarter-finals, which journalist Henry Winter described as “astonishing”.

The two-cap international will inevitably make the move to one of Europe’s top leagues soon, with the ex-Wolves marksman not registering less than 18 goal involvements in each of his last three seasons.

With the numbers he is putting up in Liga Portugal, comparisons have been made to other stars who have moved to bigger leagues in Europe, with him being dubbed as thenew Bruno Fernandes”.

A link-up behind in-form marksman Ollie Watkins would potentially create one of the most potent duos in the Premier League, whilst Goncalves can also occupy the right-wing position which manager Unai Emery has struggled to nail down this campaign.

As Villa look to develop under Emery, potentially in European football next season, Goncalves could well be the man to get fans out of their seats at Villa Park.

If Lange can get a deal over the line, even if for significantly lower than the release clause, it would represent a real statement from the upwardly mobile Midlands outfit.’

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