Aston Villa's £35m Brazilian midfielder chase complicated by financial risks

Mexico v Brazil - International
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Aston Villa are gearing up for a bold summer transfer move as they target Fulham's Brazilian midfielder Andreas Pereira according to Globo. With their sights set on strengthening the squad ahead of their maiden Champions League campaign, Villa manager Unai Emery has identified the 28-year-old playmaker as a key acquisition.

Since joining Fulham from Manchester United in 2022, Pereira has been a revelation, showcasing his talent and becoming an integral part of the Cottagers' success. In his 82 appearances for the club, the Brazilian has found the back of the net eight times and provided 15 assists, playing a pivotal role in establishing Fulham as a force to be reckoned with in the Premier League.

Pereira's impressive performances have not gone unnoticed, with Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur also expressing interest in securing his services. However, Aston Villa's qualification for the Champions League could give them the edge in the race for his signature, as the allure of playing in Europe's elite competition may prove too tempting for the midfielder to resist.

Fulham are reportedly seeking a substantial fee of £30m-£35m for Pereira, despite the player having two years left on his current £50k-per-week contract. It is believed that both the club and the player are open to a potential move, making a stay at Craven Cottage beyond this summer unlikely.

Emery's interest in Pereira is well-founded, as the Brazilian's playing style and statistics have drawn comparisons to Arsenal's Martin Odegaard. According to FBref data, Odegaard is the tenth-most comparable player to Pereira in Europe's top five leagues, underlining the Fulham star's potential to make a significant impact at Villa Park.

West Ham United v Fulham FC - Premier League
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However, Aston Villa's pursuit of Pereira may be complicated by the club's financial situation. The Villans are at risk of breaching the Premier League's profit and sustainability rules, which could result in potential sanctions and fines.

With their financial year ending on June 30th, the club will need to carefully assess their position before making any substantial investments in the transfer market.

Former Villa scout Bryan King has cautioned against overspending on players, particularly when dealing with certain agents who may inflate transfer fees. King specifically singled out super-agent Kia Joorabchian, who is reportedly set to handle negotiations for Pereira's potential move to Villa Park.

Despite these financial concerns, Aston Villa remain resolute in their desire to bolster their squad ahead of their Champions League debut. The club has already held discussions with Chelsea over midfielder Conor Gallagher, although the Blues' £50m valuation could prove to be a stumbling block.

Aston Villa will need to strike a delicate balance between their ambitions and financial prudence. The potential sales of key players such as Douglas Luiz, Jacob Ramsey, or Jhon Duran could generate the necessary funds to pursue targets like Pereira, but the club must ensure that any new signings represent value for money and align with Emery's vision for success.

While the financial implications of the move must be carefully considered, the Brazilian's talent and potential impact could be a game-changer for the Villans.