Aston Villa boss Unai Emery is reportedly insisting on signing Real Betis defender Alex Moreno in the January transfer window.
Emery will be looking to add reinforcements this month to stamp his mark on the Villa squad, and having had time to analyse and assess his current options, he’ll know where he believes we need to strengthen.
Lucas Digne was signed by former boss Steven Gerrard last January in a deal said to be worth around £25m – as per Sky Sports – and so signing another left-back didn’t seem like it would be a priority. However, based on reports in Spain, it sounds as though Emery is prioritising his own option in that department.
According to AS, the Villa boss is insisting on the signing of Moreno, and that could ultimately make the difference in negotiations between the clubs to get the deal done.
It’s added that the 29-year-old left-back is valued between €15m and €20m, and with Betis needing to make sales despite wanting to keep Moreno, as well as the suggestion that they’re looking for a replacement, it seems Emery could get his wish as it’s emphasised that Villa are trying to speed up negotiations with Betis.
Moreno joined the La Liga outfit in August 2019 from Rayo Vallecano, and has since gone on to make 121 appearances for the club while scoring six goals and providing 14 assists to go with his defensive work.
He’s also gained experience playing in the Europa League, and Emery will of course know him well from his time working in La Liga, most recently with Villarreal before his move to take charge at Villa.
It will be interesting to see if the possible signing of Moreno simply means increased competition for Digne, with Ludwig Augustinsson only on loan with us until the end of the season, or if Emery intends on replacing the Frenchman.
While he has shown his quality at times, Digne has struggled both with injuries and the defensive side of his game since he arrived, and it may well be the case that he doesn’t fit or suit the style that Emery is trying to implement.
Time will tell firstly if we can agree a deal to sign Moreno, and if so, what that then means for the current options at left-back in the Villa squad.