Tactical Insights

Aston Villa Transfer News: Unai Emery rivals Barcelona for Copa America superstar Maxi Araujo

Tom Weber
Tom Weber

  • Updated: 5 Jul 2024 17:07 BST
  • 3 min read
Unai Emery, Aston Villa

Aston Villa are ready to rival Barcelona for the signature of Maximiliano Araujo, according to Spanish media.

The Uruguayan winger has been arguably the breakout star of the ongoing Copa America this summer. A daredevil winger who can also feature in a more defensive wing-back role, Araujo has thus far notched two goals and an assist for Marcelo Bielsa’s exciting side.

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Record Copa America champions Uruguay cruised through the group stage, beating Panama, Bolivia and the USA all while conceding just one goal. Araujo was a crucial part of this success, though it remains to be seen whether he will be able to feature against misfiring Brazil after sustaining a head injury against the USMNT.

READ MORE: Exclusive – Benfica confident of sensational Joao Felix deal but face Aston Villa competition

Regardless of whether he can make the game against the Selecao, Araujo has already firmly put his name on the map for European clubs. Currently plying his trade with Toluca in Liga MX, Araujo is expected to be on the move this summer.

Maxi Araujo
© IMAGO – Maxi Araujo

Araujo is Europe-bound

This is because the 24-year-old has a release clause worth a measly €20 million, which is making him an increasingly attractive commodity with each passing game.

Barcelona are said to be on his trail, but both AS and Sport report that the Blaugrana face significant competition for the winger’s signature. Sides from pretty much every top-five league have begun taking an interest in Araujo.

READ MORE: The clubs that MUST look to sign Barcelona flop Joao Felix

As far as the Premier League are concerned, the teams most keenly watching the 24-year-old in the US are Aston Villa and Nottingham Forest. As things stand, neither side has made a ‘firm offer’ but initial contacts have already taken place.

Villa, of course, will compete in the Champions League next season and have begun strengthening Unai Emery’s squad with some ambitious signings. Ian Maatsen, Samuel Iling-Junior, Enzo Barrenechea, Lewis Dobbin and Ross Barkley have already been signed.

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