Barcelona will reportedly have to fend off stiff competition from Serie A behemoths AC Milan to sign 18-year-old Aston Villa wonderkid Carney Chukwuemeka.

According to a report by The Athletic, Carney Chukwuemeka is the subject of interest from AC Milan over a possible move in the summer transfer window. The 18-year-old Aston Villa wonderkid is also a target for Barcelona, although neither suitor will shell out £20 million to prise him away from Villa Park.

Carney Chukwuemeka joined Aston Villa from Northampton Town in 2016 and has come leaps and bounds since then. The England under-19 international is one of the most promising young prospects in Europe and made his first-team debut for Aston Villa this past season before turning out 15 further times.

The 18-year-old was also a pivotal figure as England won the under-19 European Championship this summer, with his performances piquing the interest of several European bigwigs. And with Chukwuemeka facing an uncertain future at Aston Villa after entering the final year of his contract, Barcelona and  AC Milan are keen on signing him.

The interest from Barcelona stems from the advancing years of Sergio Busquets. While the 18-year-old will not be a like-for-like replacement for the Barcelona captain, Xavi Hernandez can still mould the youngster to his liking. And with Nico Gonzalez likely to be the long-term defensive midfield solution, Chukwuemeka can fill other roles in the midfield unit.

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Recent reports have tipped Barcelona as the front-runner to sign Chukwuemeka, but the Blaugrana will not shell out £20 million to secure his services. The same is true for AC Milan, with the reigning Serie A champions unwilling to meet Aston Villa’s valuation of the wonderkid.

The Italian heavyweights are yet to bring in a long-term replacement for Franck Kessie, who has joined Barcelona this summer. Chukwuemeka has thus emerged as a viable target for AC Milan, with his qualities making him a potential long-term like-for-like replacement for Kessie. But the Serie A champions are not ready to cough up £20 million to sign Chukwuemeka.

At the same time, AC Milan will have the challenge of beating Barcelona to the youngster’s signature, with the Blaugrana already opening talks with Aston Villa for the 18-year-old wonderkid. But with the suitors not willing to meet Aston Villa’s asking price, they might sign him permanently next summer, when they will be eligible to sign him for a compensation of £400,000.

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