Aston Villa have been given hope of signing Raul de Tomas from Espanyol after their chairman admitted to the ‘possibility’ of the striker moving on this summer.
Despite having Danny Ings, Ollie Watkins, Cameron Archer and Keinan Davis in his squad, Steven Gerrard is looking for reinforcements up front. And this has led to Aston Villa setting their sights on Espanyol star De Tomas.
The Madrid-born player has won four caps for the Spain national team. He has previously scored goals for Real Valladolid, Rayo Vallecano and Benfica, as well as making one appearance for Real Madrid.
De Tomas left Benfica in January 2020 when Espanyol paid £20.25million for his signature. Since then, the attacker has found the net 45 times in 89 matches.
17 of those goals came during the 2021-22 campaign as he went on to become Espanyol’s top goalscorer that season.
According to transfer insider Dean Jones, Villa are looking into the possibility of bringing De Tomas to England.
“I think it’s one that’s been explored,” Jones told online source GiveMeSport.
“I think that ultimately, Steven Gerrard needs to know for sure that it definitely elevates their goal output for next season. That’s what he’s trying to make sure of; there can be no risks taken here.”
Espanyol official reacts to Raul de Tomas links
Reports in Spain put Aston Villa among the four clubs who wish to sign De Tomas. Everton, Newcastle and West Ham also hold an interest.
Amid the speculation, Espanyol chairman Mao Ye has given Villa hope of completing a deal. The club chief says De Tomas leaving is a ‘possibility’.
“There is no Raul de Tomas situation. He arrived later in the pre-season and will need more training time to reach the required level,” Ye said (via Birmingham Mail).
“He has given us a lot of quality and he is a key part of the squad. This week, La Liga begins and we hope that ‘RDT’ will continue to contribute for us.
“There are days left in the market. And there are always possibilities (that De Tomas could leave). But we have him in our squad.”
Espanyol would clearly like to keep hold of the 27-year-old for the current campaign. After all, he is their main source of goals.
But Espanyol are not one of the richest teams in Spain. As such, they could sanction De Tomas’ exit if a major bid comes in for him.
Villa have the finances to trouble Espanyol with such an offer thanks to their rich owners. The £26m signing of Diego Carlos from Sevilla is a prime example of this.
Villa now just need to firm up their interest in De Tomas and draw up a proposal, should Gerrard wish.
transfermarkt value the forward at £22.5m, so it will probably take a bid of slightly more than this to get Espanyol to sell.
Meanwhile, Gerrard has given the latest on Tyrone Mings and how the defender can get back into the Villa team.
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