Tim Sherwood is keen on bolstering his attacking options at Villa Park.
To overcome such a problem, or provide added competition for the Belgian forward if he does stay, the club have already started scouting potential summer transfer targets, and it appears they have a name in mind.
According to TMW, Villa are interested in Atletico Madrid striker Leo Baptistao, who currently plays on loan at Rayo Vallecano. A 22-year-old Brazilian, Baptistao scored one goal in eight appearances for Atletico during infrequent appearances as they won La Liga last season.
Having started his career at Vallecano, the youngster returned to his first club on a season-long loan at the start of the current campaign, and has netted a respectable seven goals in 21 La Liga appearances. The TMW report states that, although Atletico are impressed with his performances, they are not sure the youngster has a future at the Vicente Calderon and are assessing where he will play next season. They are aware of the interest from Villa, and the Premier League strugglers are named as a ‘welcome destination’ for the forward.
Would Baptistao be a good signing?
Three players currently lead the scoring charts for Villa this term, with Benteke, Andreas Weimann and Gabriel Agbonlahor all on four goals, although Benteke has reached that tally in fewer games. The Villans were criticised for their negative play under Paul Lambert and, although the goals have started to flow since Sherwood’s appointment, there is no doubt a forward is needed at the club.
Despite having few professional appearances to his name, Baptistao has a good goal record and has been trained by Diego Simeone - who demands nothing less than the best from his players. There is no doubt that he possesses a drive that Sherwood would look for in any potential signings, and a strong work rate and team ethic are just as important to the forward as his goalscoring talent.