Club chief offers insight on touted Villa transfer target’s future

Udinese sporting director Pierpaolo Marino has offered an update on Gerard Deulofeu’s future amid speculation of interest from Aston Villa.

As per Fabrizio Romano, both Villa and Roma are interested in the Spaniard this month as we look to bolster our attacking options, but it doesn’t sound as though it is particularly advanced at this stage.

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Deulofeu, 28, is enjoying a strong season so far in Italy, scoring three goals and providing seven assists in 18 appearances across all competitions and is arguably in the best – and most consistent – form of his career to date, albeit he has been out with an injury this month.

That in turn has seemingly led to speculation over his future with Villa one of the clubs explicitly named by Romano in his tweet as being keen, with Unai Emery publicly noting this month, as per Sky Sports, that he is looking to add a winger to the Villa squad as that is a position and area where he feels as though we’re missing something.

Speaking on Deulofeu’s future, Marino confirmed that there is interest from elsewhere, albeit he didn’t mention Villa by name, and while he confirmed that an exit isn’t imminent, the situation could change in the next week despite their desire to not sell any of their players in this window.

“There are top clubs interested, it’s true – but nothing’s advanced as things stand”, Marino told Sky Sport Italia, as per Fabrizio Romano. “We don’t want to sell any player in January – but it could change, it will depend on many factors”.

According to Sky Sport Italia’s full quotes, he also suggested that talks are ongoing over a possible contract renewal for the Spaniard, but Marino certainly didn’t rule out the possibility of an exit in the coming days either.

It remains to be seen if Villa firstly do have concrete interest in the Udinese forward, and if so, whether or not an agreement can be reached over a transfer in the next seven days.

With the likes of Emiliano Buendia and Philippe Coutinho preferring to operate in more central areas along with John McGinn and Jacob Ramsey playing in wide positions but ultimately having a natural tendency to drift inside, Villa do have limited options in terms of individuals who can offer us genuine width and wing play.

Alex Moreno will provide that down the left flank now from his full-back role, while Leon Bailey can certainly offer it on the opposite side. However, that is still a limited set of options, and Emery will no doubt want additional options and different profiles at his disposal to use when the situation requires it.

Deulofeu has shown his quality in Italy, and combined with his previous experiences in England and Spain, it’s hoped that if Villa do move for him, he turns out to be a shrewd addition to the squad.