Aston Villa set to make move for Goncalves

Sporting CP's Pedro Goncalves

Sporting CP’s Pedro Goncalves in action with Benfica’s Florentino

Aston Villa will make a move for influential Sporting CP midfielder Pedro Goncalves during the summer transfer window, according to a new report.

The facts: Goncalves excellent for Sporting

The Portuguese has emerged arguably as one of the best players in the Primeira Liga this season, excelling with his performances in both central and attacking midfield.

Goncalves has scored an impressive 12 goals and six assists in 23 league games and scored three times in the Europa League.

That includes an outrageous goal-of-the-season contender away at Arsenal last week when 24-year-old lobbed Aaron Ramsdale from near the halfway line as Sporting threw the Gunners out of Europe.

Goncalves have been linked with a summer move to Villa in the recent past as Unai Emery is targeting some significant signings at the end of the season.

Now a new rumor has surfaced as the Villans keep eyeing him for a move.

The latest: Villa is to move

Accordingly Record [via Aston Villa News]Villa are ready to make a move for Goncalves in the summer, although his £70m release clause could prove a stumbling block.

He’s been mentioned as a significant upgrade from Philippe Coutinho, who isn’t the player he used to be – the Brazilian has netted just once in 22 games this season – and is undoubtedly someone Emery would want to sign.

Goncalves current contract with Sporting does not expire until the summer of 2026.

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The verdict: Could be a special obligation

Should Villa manage to land Goncalves, it could be a spectacular deal as the two-time Portugal international is a footballer of immense talent.

The creativity and end product he possesses is outlined by an overall record of 55 goals and 28 assists in 117 games for Sporting, while his aforementioned goal was at Arsenal described as “outrageous” by journalist Jordan Campbell.

At 24, Goncalves is at a great age to be a new hero at Villa Park. His best years are probably still ahead of him, but he also has a lot of experience in his legs.

He could be the player Coutinho used to be at Liverpool, wreaking havoc with defence-splitting passes and flashy hits while raising the level of his team-mates.

The release clause issue is clearly a potential concern for Villa but if they can secure a deal for Goncalves it could be their most important signing of the summer.

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