Aston Villa could enquire about Mikel Merino in January as Unai Emery seeks midfield reinforcements in the next window.

According to Mundo Deportivo, Aston Villa will target a move for Mikel Merino ahead of the January transfer window. The Real Sociedad midfielder is having a brilliant season in La Liga, and Unai Emery might enquire about his availability.

Unai Emery wants to bring in players specific to his requirements as his planning comes to the fore ahead of the January transfer window. After a terrible start to the season, Aston Villa have stabilised things since the sacking of former manager Steven Gerrard and the appointment of the former Villarreal boss.

The Basque coach has instilled a different mentality from the previous regime and remains keen on strengthening the Aston Villa squad. There are vital areas the manager wants to reinforce.

Aston Villa lack a few notable attacking talents, particularly on the wings, while also needing a steady centre-back and probably a new midfielder. Emery is already on the trail of former players such as Pau Torres, Yeremy Pino, and Samuel Chukwueze.

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Emery is also interested in signing a new central midfielder, who can keep things under his control in the middle of the pitch. Aston Villa extended Douglas Luiz’s contract after rejecting late bids from Arsenal, while summer arrival Boubacar Kamara is also beginning to shine.

Club captain John McGinn and youngster Jacob Ramsey are important players, but Emery needs another star with a different style. Someone like Mikel Merino could add a different dimension.

The former Newcastle United player is having a fantastic season at Real Sociedad, and several clubs have enquired about his availability. Manchester City were heavily linked in the summer, and Manchester United have kept tabs on his situation. The midfielder’s contract runs until 2025 but contains a €60 million release clause.

Aston Villa may not be able to pay such a huge fee, and they might look to negotiate the price down a bit. Real Sociedad are reportedly uninterested in any sale in January, but a considerable offer could force a rethink. Merino would add quality to Emery’s side and make them a contender to finish in the European places.

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