Maresca sets sights on Aston Villa star with £25m price tag for Chelsea

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Chelsea have entered negotiations with Aston Villa to secure the services of Colombian striker Jhon Duran for a fee of £25 million, as reported by talkSPORT.

The 20-year-old forward, who arrived at Villa Park in January 2023 for an initial £14.75 million, has caught the eye of new Chelsea head coach Enzo Maresca. Despite limited opportunities under Unai Emery, Duran showcased his potential during the 2023/24 season, netting five Premier League goals and three in European competitions.

His standout performance came last month when his brace off the bench against Liverpool helped Villa clinch a fourth-place finish ahead of Tottenham.

Chelsea's pursuit of Duran has intensified following Benjamin Sesko's decision to remain at RB Leipzig for another year. The Blues aim to take advantage of Villa's financial situation, as the Midlands club looks to offload players to comply with Profit and Sustainability rules after reporting a £119 million loss in their accounts up to 31 May 2023.

Maresca, who recently took the reins at Stamford Bridge, is keen to bring Duran to West London to compete with Nicolas Jackson up front. The £25 million price tag set by Villa is considered more reasonable than the initially reported £40 million.

While some Chelsea supporters may view the potential acquisition of Duran as underwhelming due to his inexperience, the club remains determined to secure his signature. The move could be seen as a gamble, with many fans preferring a more established goalscorer to bolster their attacking options.

Villa may also part ways with other key players this summer, such as Matty Cash, who is linked with a £20 million move to AC Milan, and Douglas Luiz, who could be involved in a two-player plus cash deal with Juventus.

The young Colombian's move could provide him with the platform to develop under Maresca's tutelage and make his mark in the Premier League.

Chelsea's willingness to invest in young talent, despite the inherent risks, demonstrates their long-term vision and faith in Maresca's ability to nurture and develop players.

For Aston Villa, the potential sale of Duran and other key players could provide much-needed financial relief as they navigate the challenges of complying with Profit and Sustainability rules. The funds generated from these transfers could be reinvested in the squad, allowing the club to maintain its competitive edge in the Premier League.

The young Colombian's potential move to Stamford Bridge could be a defining moment in his career, and a successful stint at Chelsea could see him emerge as one of the Premier League's most exciting young talents.