Aston Villa are eyeing a summer deal for Benfica star Fredrik Aursnes.
The 27-year-old came through the ranks at the Norwegian side Haried IL before going on to establish himself at IL Hodd and FK Molde. A solid 2021/22 campaign with Eredivisie side Feyenoord Rotterdam saw him earn a move to Portuguese giants Benfica where he has thrived since.
A defensive midfielder who can also play on the left, Aursnes is a versatile player who can be considered a late bloomer. Currently, at the peak of his career, the Norwegian could move to the Premier League, should Aston Villa manage to strike a deal for his services.
The English club made contact with their Liga Portugal counterparts regarding a summer deal but have been rebuffed. Benfica are not open to an agreement and continues to insist that Aursnes’s €50 million release clause be paid in full. Should it happen, the 27-year-old will become the latest Eagles star to make a big-money move to the Premier League.
Roger Schmidt and co. are so keen to keep the Norwegian that they are set to offer him a new deal with a higher release clause. It is fair to say that unless Villa caught up with the money required, there is every chance the midfielder will stay put at the Estadio da Luz.
For now, the ball is in Villa’s court at least until perhaps Aursnes pens a new deal. Should that happen, the Midlands outfit could see themselves priced out of a move. It will come as a blow for the outfit given their recent resurgence under Unai Emery.
The Villains have already secured a deal for Youri Tielemans and will hope to push for a European spot next season. While they appear better organised under their Spanish boss, a few key additions should certainly aid their cause.
A good passer of the ball, Aursnes is an excellent reader of the game and is well capable of stopping opposition attacks in a jiffy. A solid tackler, he is also dominant in the air and can hold onto the ball well. This makes him the ideal fit for Emery’s system. Aursnes is not young but as long as Villa get him for a decent price, they will have a gem on their hands.
Another player on Villa’s list for this summer is Villarreal defender Pau Torres. It would appear that the defensive roster is an area that should enjoy a revamp at Villa Park this season. Whether Aursnes will be a part of it remains to be seen.