Aston Villa continue to be linked with possible summer signings as Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Emiliano Buendia and Attila Szalai are all touted targets.
With eight games remaining this season, Dean Smith and his squad will no doubt be fully focused on the rest of this campaign and finishing as strong as possible.
However, speculation has already begun it seems over potential additions ahead of next season, with a string of names being linked with a move to Villa Park.
Given we’ve scored just 43 goals in our 30 league games so far this season, giving us the joint-worst goalscoring tally of the top 11 sides in the table, adding more quality and firepower in the final third surely has to be a priority this summer.
With Ollie Watkins and Jack Grealish emerging as our brighting sparks up front, Smith will arguably be keen to add more around them and improve on what he has at his disposal currently.
According to TEAMtalk, Villa are interested in Chelsea ace Ruben Loftus-Cheek with Crystal Palace emerging as possible competition, while it’s added that we’ve informed the Blues that we won’t be looking to sign Ross Barkley on a permanent basis when his loan deal ends in June.
Loftus-Cheek, 25, has spent this season on loan at Fulham where he’s bagged just one goal and no assists in 29 appearances, but with the Cottagers looking set for relegation, he may be searching for another opportunity elsewhere if Chelsea don’t have plans for him at Stamford Bridge next season.
Those statistics aren’t particularly impressive, but his form for Fulham could seemingly be enough to spark a scrap between Villa and Palace for his signature.
Elsewhere, BirminghamLive notes that Villa have also been linked with Buendia, who will feature in the Premier League next season with Norwich City after their promotion from the Championship.
With that in mind, it seems questionable as to why he would opt to leave Carrow Road ahead of their first year back in the top flight, and so it may prove difficult to prise him away.
There’s no denying the quality that the 24-year-old has shown this season though, as he’s contributed 12 goals and 16 assists in 36 outings.
“I could have changed club,” he is quoted as saying. “But I wanted to bring Norwich back in the Premier League. I don’t know what will happen in the next year, I follow the whole of European football but I’m very keen on the Premier League.”
Meanwhile, the same report also claims that we are interested in Fenerbahce defender Szalai, with Leicester City, Newcastle Utd, Napoli and Lazio also said to hold an interest.
The 23-year-old Hungary international is a centre-back by trade with an ability to play on the left too, and he’s bagged four goals and three assists in 34 games this season to go along with his defensive qualities.
It’s suggested by BirminghamLive that he could be valued at around €25m, and so Villa would have to dig deep into their pockets if they wish to prise him away from the Turkish giants.
With Tyrone Mings and Ezri Konsa solidifying their places in the starting XI, it will seemingly be about adding more quality depth in that area of the squad if Bjorn Engels and Kortney Hause aren’t considered enough with both men appearing for the U23s in the PL2 this week.
It’s likely to be another busy summer for Villa to fill the gaps in the squad in terms of depth and also to improve our attack. Time will tell if any of the three names above are signed to address those issues.