Aston Villa are set to face significant transfer competition as they look to sign West Brom star Matheus Pereira.
Reports in recent days and weeks have suggested that Dean Smith’s side are monitoring the 25-year-old ahead of the transfer window opening.
And now, according to French publication, Foot Mercato, Villa will face a battle with fellow Premier League side West Ham in the race to sign Pereira this summer.
The report adds that the two English sides aren’t the only ones interested in the Brazilian however, with clubs from Germany, Italy and France also said to be keeping a close eye on the play-maker.
Hailed as a “genius” who “who has a technical ability that I have never seen before” by former Nurnberg coach Nate Weiss, Pereira was one of West Brom’s best players last season in the Premier League.
He scored 11 goals and provided a further six assists in the top-flight alone, and did his absolute best in recent weeks to perform an improbable rescue act for his side – in fact, his last eight games in the competition saw him score six times and set up another three as well.
After a sparkling performance earlier this year, Match of the Day pundit Jermain Jenas said of the £17m-rated gem: “He’s just silky. When he’s on it, he’s just got that lovely left-foot, (tucked) his penalty away, the delivery into the box for set-pieces was brilliant, and he wanted to showcase his skills.”
It’s no surprise then that Smith is keen on bringing him to Villa Park, and it’s exactly why Johan Lange appears to be risking the manager’s wrath by potentially letting West Ham steal a march and swoop in.
Given how Villa performed last season, Smith will be keen to ensure his new signings are made as soon as possible so as to help integrate them into pre-season training ahead of the new campaign.
Just dawdling and letting other clubs, and that too a Premier League rival when it comes to a European place next season, would be an absolute nightmare.
Not only would it have Smith fuming, but it would also make the club’s fans livid too. These Villa fans have already made clear just this month how much they want Pereira to be signed and letting him slip through their fingers into the Hammers’ hands, would have them up in arms.