Aston Villa remain the ‘most interested’ club in Sporting Club de Portugal star Pedro Gonçalves, who is now being represented in part by super-agent Jorge Mendes.
That’s according to Jornal de Noticias, who say Mendes has been handed the job of ‘managing proposals’ for the player.
They explain that Gonçalves’ current agent, Jorge Pires, has reached an agreement to form a partnership with Mendes ahead of potential interest from abroad this summer.
He will be in charge of ‘international proposals’ that arrive for the player, who has an €80m release clause and is expected to be of interest to several clubs thanks to his performances in Portugal and Europe this year.
It seems he and his agent are keen to take advantage of that and have brought Mendes, with his numerous contacts in Europe and particularly the Premier League, on board to help manage any offers that may arrive.
One of them could come from Aston Villa, who will be keen to strengthen in the summer under Unai Emery, particularly if they qualify for Europe this season, and they are ‘the most interested’ in his signature.
They are not the only side interested in the Sporting number 28 and other clubs are ‘asking’ about his situation.
Gonçalves has a contract until 2026 and is locked into a release clause worth €80m, although 50% of that will go to former club Famalicão as they still own half of his rights.
That’s something the Lions want to negotiate themselves out of but if they cannot, it is likely they will continue to push for the €80m to be paid so they can get as much as possible.
Whether Aston Villa are willing to pay such a figure remains to be seen, and seems unlikely given their outlay in recent years, but at the moment they are at the front of the queue as far as they’re concerned in Portugal.