Aston Villa have agreed to sign Brazilian striker Wesley Moraes from Club Brugge for a club record £22.2m (€25m)
Villa say the move is still subject to the granting of a work permit and international clearance. The 22-year old scored 17-times in 48 appearances for the Belgian club last season, and had attracted interest from Newcastle United, West Ham and Serie A side Lazio.
The move makes Moraes Villa's most expensive ever signing, eclipsing the £18m they paid to Sunderland for Darren Bent in January of 2011. Moraes is Villa's third signing of the summer. Dean Smith has already made playoff hero Anwar El-Ghazi's move from Lille a permanent one, while Jota has signed from Birmingham City for £4m.
Described as a strong and technically good centre forward, Moraes could provide Villa with some much-needed firepower upon their return to the Premier League. Tammy Abraham top-scored for Dean Smith's side last term with 26-goals, but has returned to parent club Chelsea after a successful loan.
It's believed he's signed a five-year contract with the Championship playoff winners.
— Club Brugge KV (@ClubBrugge) April 29, 2019
It appears the uncertainty over Rafa Benitez's future at Newcastle has cost the Magpies the race to sign Moraes, with Nehmy telling Lazio fansite The Laziali, "What about Newcastle? Are they in the running? Yes, it’s true too, we already had a conversation. But, Rafa Benitez needs to renew his contract."
As Kristof Terreur points out, Villa are no strangers to dabbling in the Jupiler League market. The summer of 2012 saw them purchase Christian Benteke from Racing Genk for £7m. Three seasons and 42-goals later, he was sold to Liverpool for £32.5m.
Belgian legend Luc Nilis also had a spell at Villa that was ended prematurely by a double compound fracture of his right shin. That injury would sadly end Nilis' career at the age of 33.
🎁🎂🥳 - 25/05/1967
Happy birthday to former Aston Villa striker Luc Nilis who turns 52 today! Happy birthday Luc.
Still remember when he scored this class goal against @ChelseaFC before his horrific injury ended his career prematurely #avfc #utv #vtid pic.twitter.com/8WobZceFiH
— avfchistory (@avfchistory) May 25, 2019