Villarreal have said that Aston Villa must meet Nicolas Jackson’s £30m release clause if they want to sign him in January, according to reports.
Unai Emery has made the Senegalese striker one of their top targets this winter, with Villa registering an interest in two of the Spanish club’s players.
Jackson is highly rated by Villarreal, so it’s unsurprising that they are reluctant to let him, along with another highly-valued player, leave this winter.
Emery has previously worked with the 21-year-old during his time at the Spanish club but reportedly wants to negotiate a lower fee than his release clause.
The manager seems to have made signing a new striker a priority at Villa, after being linked to several names over the last few weeks.
According to Football Insider, Villa are heavily interested in signing Jackson, along with his teammate Samuel Chukwueze in the January window, so Emery truly is looking to raid his former club.
Jackson was part of Senegal’s squad at the World Cup, but only made one brief substitute appearance against the Netherlands.
The young attacker is not yet a regular starter for Villarreal, making 13 appearances in the league this season, generally coming off the bench,
Jackson has netted twice this season so far, also contributing two assists for his team.
Villarreal attacking duo could be huge for Villa
While he may not be experienced, Jackson is widely touted to have bags of potential, and the fact that Emery is considering splashing the cash on the attacker speaks volumes.
An exciting, pacy and versatile player, the Senegal international can play as an attacking midfielder, on either wing, or as a central striker, so he would provide Villa with cover in a lot of areas.
Chukwueze, on the other hand, could potentially be an even more exciting addition.
The Nigerian generally plays as a right winger and has been in fine form for Villarreal over the past couple of seasons.
After beginning his career with Villarreal B, Chukwueze has gradually become one of the club’s most important players.
Overall, the Nigerian has chalked up 179 appearances in total for Villarreal, scoring an impressive 29 goals and making 26 assists, giving him an average of 0.31 goal contributions per game.
Chukwueze could potentially be a huge signing for Villa if Emery can get a January deal over the line, adding to their already impressive talents such as Leon Bailey and Jacob Ramsay.
Jackson, on the other hand, would represent an exciting backup option for Danny Ings and Ollie Watkins, while also being a great investment for the future.
The only question is whether Villa would be willing to pay the £30m required to get the Jackson deal over the line.
Chukwueze, however, could be an even more expensive purchase. Transfermarkt value him at £20m, but, with other clubs also interested in the Nigerian, it’s likely any successful fee would have to be double that.
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