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Aston Villa edge closer to signing Nicolo Zaniolo

Nicolo Zaniolo is on the verge of swapping Galatasaray for Aston Villa after the Turkish giants agreed to sanction his loan move to Birmingham.

Italian journalist Alfredo Pedulla claims the reigning Super Lig champions could green-light the forward’s switch to the Premier League by tomorrow.

Villa would initially pay Galatasaray €4 million to borrow the 24-year-old for a season in a deal featuring a €20m buyout clause plus €7m in various add-ons.

A total package would be around €31m, which falls narrowly short of the Italian international’s €35m release clause, meaning Gala would make a substantial profit from the sale.

Galatasaray forked out €15m to lure Zaniolo away from Roma last February and could earn double that figure, provided the versatile forward proves himself at Villa Park.

But having let the Giallorossi retain a 20% cut of the sell-on fee, the Turks won’t get to keep the whole sum.

Zaniolo helped the Istanbul heavyweights hoist their first Super Lig title since 2019 last term, tallying five goals and one assist in ten league appearances down the final stretch.

However, Wilfried Zaha’s arrival on a free transfer has closed the door for the Italian as he looks to embark on a new chapter in the Premier League after turning down an offer from Bournemouth in January.

The Cherries tried to lure him to England amid his effort to leave the Stadio Olimpico last winter but to no avail.

If everything goes according to plan, Zaniolo will become Villa’s fourth summer signing.

Pau Torres, Moussa Diaby and Youri Tielemans have joined forces with Unai Emery’s squad in the past couple of months as part of the club’s bid to stay competitive on multiple fronts.

All of them were on the pitch as the Lions succumbed to a humiliating 5-1 defeat at Newcastle United in their opening Premier League fixture on Saturday.

The proposed signing of Zaniolo would increase Emery’s firepower, but based on proceedings at St James’ Park, Villa would be wise to address their defensive woes first.

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