Once upon a time, the biggest clubs in Serie A could easily go and snatch the best talent from others in Italy’s top division.

That isn’t the case any longer and the threat of Premier League interest means prices rise for everyone and the prospect of serious competition from England is real.

Joshua Zirkzee is the latest example of that, with AC Milan and Inter Milan in a battle to sign the Bologna player, but facing real threats from the Premier League. That includes from Aston Villa, reports Thursday’s edition of Gazzetta dello Sport.

According to the Italian newspaper, Unai Emery’s side pose a ‘danger’ and are a ‘serious threat’ to the Milan clubs.

Gazzetta insist that Zirkzee would prefer to stay in Italian football, but then they would say that wouldn’t they. Bayern Munich have a buyback option of €40m, yet that’s not seen as the overriding threat… perhaps it should be!

Anyway, this isn’t the first link between Aston Villa and Zirkzee. On April 10th, we covered claims from media close to Bologna that agent Kia Joorabchian was working to take the player to the Birmingham club.

Monchi was also seen as key and the insinuation was that everyone involved had a good working relationship. It may be time to start using that.