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Aston Villa transfer news: West Ham to beat Chelsea for youngster?

West Ham pushing to sign former Chelsea target in big-money deal?
© Reuters
West Ham United allegedly emerge as the frontrunners to sign an Aston Villa player who has been heavily linked with Chelsea.

West Ham United reportedly emerge as the frontrunners to secure a deal for Aston Villa forward Jhon Duran.

Since the end of the season, Duran has been heavily linked with a transfer away from the West Midlands with Chelsea known to have a level of interest.

When Ian Maatsen was in line to sign for Villa, it was alleged that the 20-year-old was the most likely player to move in the opposite direction to Chelsea.

Instead, the Blues opted to secure a deal for fellow Villa youngster Omari Kellyman, effectively removing the necessity of signing Duran in a concurrent deal.

As it stands, Chelsea are yet to find senior competition for Nicolas Jackson, despite Barcelona starlet Marc Guiu becoming another teenager to make the switch to the West Londoners.

Aston Villa's Jhon Duran celebrates scoring their third goal on May 13, 2024© Reuters

West Ham to beat Chelsea in Duran race?

Over the past two weeks, there has been little development with regards to Duran's future, partly due to him representing Colombia at the Copa America.

At some stage, though, Villa will want to determine whether Duran will be providing backup to Ollie Watkins or if they will have funds to spend on an alternative.

According to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, West Ham are doing everything possible to tempt Villa into finally cashing in on the centre-forward.

The Hammers have allegedly proposed a deal worth £35m which also includes a 10% sell-on clause in Villa's favour, the aim being to get closer to meeting Villa's previous asking price of £40m.

Duran is already said to have agreed personal terms with West Ham, with the clubs currently negotiating the final aspects of the deal.

Aston Villa's Jhon Duran scores their first goal on April 3, 2024© Reuters

Good deal for all parties?

In his 18 months at Villa, Duran has made just three starts in the Premier League, a further 32 coming from the substitutes' bench, and it is no secret that he has grown frustrated with his playing time.

Only an injury to Watkins is going to change that in the short term, leaving him with little choice but to consider his options.

Michail Antonio and Danny Ings are the current two central-attacking options at West Ham, but Duran would theoretically be promoted to first choice if he made the switch to the London Stadium.

The only downside to any transfer is giving up the prospect of playing Champions League football for a team that are starting a new era under Julen Lopetegui.

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