Telegraph: Everton rival Villa for transfer target Dwight McNeil

Aston Villa reportedly face competition from Everton for Burnley winger Dwight McNeil, but it’s claimed that we still hold an advantage in a potential transfer scrap.

McNeil, 21, managed just two goals and five assists in 40 appearances for Burnley last season, and so those numbers don’t particularly jump out on paper.

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However, there is no doubt that the attacking ace is highly-rated and has a lot of potential, and that in turn has seemingly sparked what could be a battle to land his signature this summer.

As reported by The Telegraph, Everton are set to rival us for McNeil, but it’s added that the Toffees believe that we are leading the race to get a deal done while it could take a fee of around £40m to convince Burnley to sell.

Having already added Emiliano Buendia this summer for a club record transfer fee, it appears as though Villa would have to break that again in order to land McNeil, and so time will tell if the coaching staff and management rate him highly enough to warrant such a hefty price-tag.

One of the key issues that Dean Smith will no doubt have wanted to address this summer was the lack of creativity in the final third without skipper Jack Grealish leading the charge.

Buendia certainly helps with that, but another addition in that area of the squad could help us form a potent attacking unit along with the likes of Grealish, Ollie Watkins and Bertrand Traore.

Time will tell if McNeil is the man for the job, but while those goal contribution statistics aren’t the most attractive from last season, there’s a lot more to his game given his technical quality and influence in attacking play for Burnley in general. Whether or not it’s enough to warrant a fee of around £40m, is another debate.