By Graham Hill
VILLA scout Juanfran has increased speculation that the club are about to make a move for Celta Vigo striker Maxi Gomez.
With news emerging that Gomez’s former club in Uruguay have heard of Villa’s interest, Juanfran’s comments about the player in Spanish newspaper Marca have also fuelled the fire on this link,
West Ham and Valencia are also reported to be in the chase for the 22-year-old La Liga player.
But Juanfran has direct links with Villa after being announced as part of their scouting team last December.
Juanfran is a former Spain international and played at Celta between 1999 and 2004.
He said about Gomez in the Madrid-based publication: “He is a reference point, he is always well positioned and attentive to the second balls.
“Above all, what is asked of a striker are goals. That excellent goalscoring record is why he interests the Premier League clubs.”
Gomez has a £43million release clause in his contract – but he is currently rated at around the £35million mark.
The Uruguay striker has been compared to countryman Luis Suarez and has scored 30 goals in 69 La Liga games, including 13 last season.
But Villa are being linked with a string of strikers with Tammy Abraham unlikely to leave Chelsea this summer, and the latest one is Mbwana Samatta, the £12 million-rated Genk forward.