Photo by JUAN MABROMATA/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Premier League outfit Aston Villa look set to step up their interest in Argentina international Julian Alvarez with a bid expected to be lodged over the next couple of days, as reported by TNT Sports. 

While reports linking Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey with a switch to England’s second city have gone into overdrive over the last 24 hours – it is understood the Bundesliga speedster would welcome a move to Villa Park – Dean Smith and co are not foolish enough to put all their eggs in one basket. 

Bailey is not short of alternative offers after all, with Everton also rumoured to be interested. Furthermore, at around £30 million, he would cost a pretty penny too.

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Alvarez might not share Bailey’s proven track record in European football but he is younger, cheaper and has fewer admirers at Premier League level.  

The Athletic reported in June that Aston Villa had made contact with River Plate regarding the £15 million-rated forward, who is at his best in an old-school number ten position but can also play in a wider role. 

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Alvarez’s agent has already travelled to England for talks.

According to reports coming out of South America today, an offer could land on River’s desk before the week is out. Villa are expected to launch an official bid for the 2021 Copa America winner at some point in the very near future. 

Photo by JUAN MABROMATA/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Alvarez would become the third Argentine player in Smith’s largely homegrown squad.

He was actually included in Lionel Scaloni’s Albiceleste squad at the expense of new £30 million record signing Emi Buendia and you would imagine that Villa would have asked goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez for his thoughts about a player who, in the eyes of a certain Gonzalo Higuain, is overflowing with potential.

“As a fantastic player. He reminds me of the great Gary Shaw,” journalist Tim Vickery said recently, highlighting the similarities between Alvarez and Villa’s 1982 European Cup-winning legend.  

“Alvarez is very mobile. He’s really bright and intelligent, he can take the ball any way it comes, he combines very well. He’s a really classy player and, if Villa do land him, there are plenty of reasons to be cheerful.”

Photo by Marcelo Endelli/Getty Images

  

In other news, Mikel Arteta says ‘really important’ Arsenal player could have suffered ‘even worse’ fate