Aston Villa battle Everton, Newcastle United for Nicolas Jackson

Aston Villa are reportedly set to rival Everton and Newcastle United in the growing race to sign Villarreal’s exciting and versatile attacker Nicolas Jackson.

According to Daily Mail, Unai Emery’s Aston Villa have entered the race to sign Everton and Newcastle United transfer target Nicolas Jackson, who is out of contract at Villarreal next summer.

The former Villarreal manager has asked his new club to make a move for Jackson in the coming weeks after promoting the Senegal international to the first team at Estadio de la Ceramica at the back end of the 2020/21 season. But Jackson became a more key figure in the squad last season, where he made 16 direct goal contributions in 36 appearances across all competitions.

This season, the 21-year-old has contributed to five goals so far, scoring thrice in 17 appearances in La Liga and other competitions. However, he has much more than just an eye for a goal; Jackson is a raw talent with plenty of danger.

Blessed with tremendous pace to cause any backline problems using his afterburners, he also has an excellent understanding of positioning, and sharp movement. He has also been shaped into a defensive weapon by Emery thanks to his tireless and selfless work off the ball. Jackson has become a vital cog for the Yellow Submarine and, more importantly, a big economic asset for the club.

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However, with his current contract at the club expiring at the end of the season, they risk losing him for free. If Villarreal want to retain their prized asset, contract negotiations will likely have to proceed sooner rather than later, with as many as three Premier League clubs and Barcelona vying for his signature.

Everton, for one, need more help in the attacking department, with current options misfiring and in need of a revamp for a long time regardless. Neal Maupay has failed to set the world alight since his summer switch from Brighton, while Salomon Rondon is also expected to be offloaded in January.

The Toffees pipped West Ham to the signing of Amadou Onana last summer and will look to repeat the same feat with Nicolas Jackson, who will not only add more firepower to their attack but whose dangerous presence on the pitch could create space for his teammates to thrive upon.

Newcastle United, meanwhile, might view Jackson as a project acquisition who will grow along with their exciting project. At just 21, he is versatile and certainly a high-ceiling prodigy. Jackson can play anywhere across the front three and could excel under Eddie Howe’s coaching. With the Magpies currently flying high, they have the status and funds to attract high-calibre talent.

As for the ambitious Aston Villa, they will hope that the player’s previous healthy working relationship with new boss Unai Emery could work in their favour. Further, they are not shy about lodging lucrative contracts on the table to draw top talent, as they did in the cases of Boubacar Kamara, Lucas Digne, and Diego Carlos last season.

His contract squabbles may offer Aston Villa a chance to get him on the bargain too with no transfer fees involved, and they can reach a pre-contract agreement for a free transfer with the player as soon as upcoming January.

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