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Aston Villa set to sign Chicago Fire striker Jhon Duran

Chicago Fire striker Jhon Duran completes Aston Villa move

Aston Villa have confirmed that they have reached an agreement with Major League Soccer club Chicago Fire over the signing of Jhon Duran.

The highly-rated 19-year-old striker was subject to interest from Premier League giants Liverpool and Chelsea, but Villa have won the race for his signature.

Duran, who has been likened to Inter Milan striker Romelu Lukaku for his bullish build and balance, has scored eight goals and assisted five in 28 appearances for Chicago Fire.

He has already played three times for Colombia and will reportedly cost Villa around £18 million, including performance-related add-ons.

He now becomes the second Chicago Fire teenager to swap the American league for English football after Gabriel Slonina, who joined Chelsea for around £8m base fee back in August.

Duran is the second-youngest player to score in the Colombian top flight, achieving the feat when he was just 15. 

He also became the most expensive foreign signing in MLS history when he joined Chicago Fire from Colombian side Envigado in January 2021.

Duran’s transfer is subject to passing a medical, agreeing personal terms and obtaining the necessary work visa before his move to Villa Park is made official.

The striker is currently away with the Colombian Under-20 national team as part of the 2023 South American Championships.

He will provide competition for Ollie Watkins and Danny Ings in Unai Emery’s side, although the latter is attracting interest from bottom-placed Southampton.

The Saints are looking to bolster their striking options before the transfer window closes and are interested in re-signing Ings.

Southampton previously explored a loan deal for the 30-year-old, but Villa prefer an outright sale, and it is unclear if they will follow up their interest with a bid.

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