Shropshire Star

Aston Villa are looking to Hammer out a deal for striker

Villa have held talks with West Ham over the proposed sale of Jhon Duran.


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The Colombia international striker has emerged as a serious target for the Hammers and Villa are prepared to let him go if they get an offer close to their £40million valuation.

Reports yesterday claimed the most recent offer was a little shy of that figure, at around £35m, though there is optimism a deal can be struck.

West Ham are the second Premier League club this summer to show serious interest in Duran, who is currently away at the Copa America.

Chelsea were given permission to speak with the 20-year-old last month but cooled their interest due to Villa’s valuation and following background checks on the player.

Duran, who signed for Villa from Chicago Fire in an £18m deal 18 months ago, scored eight goals in 42 appearances during his first full season at the club.

But while manager Unai Emery has previously described the player’s potential as “limitless”, relations between the pair are thought to have sometimes been strained.

Emery was forced to quash talk of a bust-up when Duran deleted all reference to the club from his social media accounts, while Villa would have been prepared to let the forward leave in January had they been able to source a replacement. A loan offer from the Hammers was rejected during that window.

The ability to bring in a back-up for Ollie Watkins will also be a consideration in the current negotiations, though Emery is expected to assess Cameron Archer during the early weeks of pre-season following his return to the club from Sheffield United.

Villa have also been keeping tabs on their former winger Jaden Philogene, who is currently subject of a transfer tussle between Everton and Premier League newcomers Ipswich.

Philogene, a Bodymoor Heath academy product, was sold to Hull last August in a £5m deal which included a clause allowing Villa to match any offer the Tigers receive from a top flight club.

The 22-year-old, who scored 12 goals in the Championship last season, remains highly rated by Unai Emery and Villa have until the end of today to decide whether to match Ipswich’s offer of £18m. Philogene, however, will ultimately decide his own fate and Portman Road is currently considered his most likely destination.

Villa have already signed five players this summer, including two widemen in the shape of Lewis Dobbin and Samuel Iling-Junior.

Both reported to Bodymoor this week to begin pre-season training, with Villa due to play their first friendly a week today at Walsall.