The Birmingham Mail’s Ashley Preece has dropped an update on Aston Villa’s pursuit of Julian Alvarez in this summer transfer window.

What’s the story?

Reports in recent days and weeks have claimed that Fernando Hidalgo, the agent of the River Plate starlet, is set to meet with Villa’s representatives over a move to Dean Smith’s side ahead of the new Premier League campaign.

In a Q&A for The Birmingham Mail, Preece replied on various queries about the 21-year-old: “I’ve been told he has a £21.5m release clause in his contract – but I want to stand that up before reporting.”

“As mentioned, Alvarez seems most-likely given the reports coming from South America from credible journalists. AC Milan very keen on him, though, I’m told. It’s a case of wait and see.”

“Villa have had initial talks but that’s as far as I’ve got. Struggling to a firm grasp of the situation at present, much to my annoyance.”

Villa fans will be excited

After news emerged from the Arsenal camp that rumoured Villa transfer target Emile Smith Rowe is set to stay at the Emirates Stadium and pen a new contract with the north Londoners, Preece’s update on Alvarez makes for exciting reading.

The River Plate youngster is someone who can play anywhere across the frontline, and after a highly impressive campaign in his native Argentina, he was named as part of his country’s Copa America squad this summer.

Like Smith Rowe, he is very much a creative attacker who can play behind the striker, bagging four goals and set up another seven in just 20 appearances last season – including a couple of games where he plundered a hat-trick of assists against Godoy Cruz and Central Cordoba respectively.

Marcelo Gallardo, his manager at club level, has previously hailed the young Argentine as someone who “every coach would love to have.”

With Preece now reporting that Villa have had “initials talks” over signing Alvarez, that could be music to the ears of supporters who have watched a rather bizarre pursuit of Smith Rowe this summer.

In other news, Lange must avoid Villa mistake over “unstoppable” £38k-p/w gem, Smith would hate it.





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