Aston Villa target Benfica midfielder as Unai Emery looks to bolster squad

Manchester City v Aston Villa - Premier League
Manchester City v Aston Villa - Premier League / James Gill - Danehouse/GettyImages

Aston Villa are once again setting their sights on Benfica's defensive midfielder Florentino Luis, with the Premier League club reportedly keen on securing his signature in the upcoming summer transfer window.

Last summer, Aston Villa attempted to sign the 24-year-old Portuguese midfielder but were deterred by Benfica's £35 million (€40 million) valuation. However, the Midlands club has not given up on their target and are hoping to capitalise on Luis' current situation at Benfica.

Despite being involved in 38 matches across all competitions this season, Luis has seen his playing time diminish under Benfica manager Roger Schmidt. The arrival of Leandro Barreiro in the summer is expected to further reduce Luis' chances of regular first-team action, prompting the midfielder to consider a move away from the Portuguese giants.

Florentino Luis of SL Benfica in action during the UEFA...
Florentino Luis / SOPA Images/GettyImages

Florentino Luis was promoted to the first team in 2019. Since then, he has established himself as a key player in their midfield, showcasing his defensive prowess and ability to break up opposition attacks.

The 2023/24 campaign has been a difficult one for Luis, with the midfielder making only 38 appearances for Benfica across all competitions and failing to register any goals or assists. His current market value is estimated at £17 million (€20 million), a significant drop from Benfica's asking price last summer.

Aston Villa's pursuit of Luis may not be straightforward, as they already have a well-stocked midfield. The club's financial situation could also prove to be a hurdle unless they sell some players first. Additionally, other Premier League clubs, such as Arsenal and Tottenham, have shown interest in Luis in the past, which could complicate matters for Aston Villa.

If the move materialises, Luis would become Aston Villa's first signing of the summer transfer window as manager Unai Emery looks to bolster his squad. The Spanish tactician, who took over from Steven Gerrard in November 2022, will be looking for a top-half finish in the Premier League next season as well.

The potential transfer of Florentino Luis could be another significant sale for Benfica, whose academy has generated an impressive $567 million in player sales over the last 10 years, making it the most profitable in the world. The Portuguese club has a reputation for developing talented young players and selling them on for substantial fees.

The defensive midfielder's potential arrival at Villa Park could provide a significant boost to Unai Emery's plans for the upcoming season, as the club aims to establish itself as a force to be reckoned with in the Premier League.