Manchester United and Real Madrid open transfer talks for player Aston Villa ‘want’


Real Madrid and Manchester United have reportedly held talks about a move for Enzo Fernandez.

Fernandez has also been linked with a move to Aston Villa and their Premier League rivals Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur, who are all said to ‘want’ the player. The River Plate midfielder currently has a £17 million release clause that will rise to £21m, according to reports emerging out of Argentina.

Fernandez was first mentioned as a Villa transfer target back in March and his River team-mate Julian Alvarez was heavily linked with a move to Villa Park before signing for Manchester City. Fernandez is a defensive midfielder who enjoyed a breakout season for River last campaign, when he made 20 appearances for his side having spent part of the previous campaign on loan at Defensa y Justicia.

An Argentina Under-20 international, Fernandez is an up-and-coming star whose form has attracted the interests of top European clubs. Former Villa midfielder Robert Pires, better known for his time with Arsenal, was in Argentina to watch Fernandez in March and was impressed with what he saw.

“I liked Fernandez a lot,” Pires said. “It’s not because I used to play there, almost in the same position. “He has a very good way of playing and great movements, he always offers a solution to his teammates and he handles the ball very well.”

Villa will look to sign a new defensive midfielder in the summer despite the return to fitness of Marvelous Nakamba, who was in a match day squad for the first time at the weekend since he picked up a knee injury in December. Kalvin Phillips and Yves Bissouma of Leeds United and Brighton and Hove Albion respectively are both targets for Villa boss Steven Gerrard, who will be backed in the summer transfer window by Villa Park chiefs Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens.

Fernandez, meanwhile, is likely to be an attractive option for a club that can develop the 21 year-old and it is likely he will be loaned out as soon as he leaves River.