Aston Villa have had a bid worth a total of £20.5million for Rodrigo Bentancur rejected by Juventus, according to a report.
Steven Gerrard has enjoyed an excellent first transfer window in charge of Villa. He got his spending off to a headline-grabbing start by snapping up former Liverpool team-mate Philippe Coutinho.
Lucas Digne’s arrival from Everton was more of an opportunistic deal following his falling-out at Everton.
On Thursday, meanwhile, Villa announced the signing of Arsenal defender Calum Chambers seemingly from nowhere and they have also snapped up goalkeeper Robin Olsen.
However, Villa have not finished ahead of Monday’s January transfer deadline. They have been in talks with Juventus over a deal for Uruguay international Bentancur for some time.
And, according to Sky Italy, Gerrard’s side have now made a bid. They have offered £16.5million up front and £4million in bonuses for the 24-year-old, taking the proposed deal to just over £20million overall.
But Juve have rejected the approach, insisting that they want £21million up front before they would even consider a sale.
Indeed, Juventus want a bigger fee because 30 percent of any monies made will go to Boca Juniors.
The Argentine club negotiated a sell-on clause in the contract Bentancur signed with his Serie A employers in 2017.
As such, Villa have to make up a £4.5million shortfall in their bid. Nevertheless, Sky Italy adds that the two sides are not too far apart in valuation ahead of Monday’s deadline.
The report claims that Gerrard wants Bentancur because he believes the 45-cap international can provide good competition for Brazil star Douglas Luis in the holding midfield role.
However, Luiz could yet leave Villa as he has yet to resolve his future with the club.
Bentancur in, Luiz out a Villa possibility
The 23-year-old has 18 months left on his deal at Villa Park and the club have yet to offer him an extension. He has made 17 Premier League appearances this season.
The manager said recently of Luiz’s situation: “No, we haven’t opened contract talks yet with Douglas.
“I think in this period and in this window, it has been the case of trying to strengthen the current squad, make additions and, also, find destinations for some of our younger players in terms of loans.
“Dougie has done OK for us. We’ve been happy with his training level and the performances that he has given.”
Arsenal have supposedly come forward as potential suitors for Luiz as they chase a new midfielder.