Aston Villa face Nicolo Zaniolo transfer competition with new claim

Zenit is reportedly competing with Aston Villa for Galatasaray midfielder Nicolo Zaniolo.

Villa is negotiating to sign Zaniolo after Emi Buendia’s serious injury. Villa has loaned the Italy international for €3m (£2m), according to Turkish outlet Sports Digitale.

It also believes Villa’s deal, including Zaniolo’s option, exceeds €30m (£26m). Galatasaray may approve a sale that matches his €35m (£30m) release clause.

Zenit, who is looking to replace Malcom, who joined Saudi powerhouse Al Hilal, may also compete with Villa for Zaniolo. Sport Italia will pay the 24-year-old €9m annually.

Villa may increase its offer. The Italy international joined Galatasaray from Roma for €16.5m (£14m) last summer and played 12 games.

Villa’s new football operations chief Monchi signed Zaniolo for Roma in 2018.