Aston Villa transfer news: Scouting department monitoring 'incessantly linked' 15-goal ace

Aston Villa head coach Steven Gerrard

Aston Villa's scouting department will have been following Julian Alvarez's form closely ahead of potentially making a move for the frontman during the January transfer window, according to Express & Star journalist Luke Hatfield.

Steven Gerrard was appointed as the Midlands club's new head coach last week, replacing the sacked Dean Smith in the hot seat, and he will get the opportunity to bolster his squad at the turn of the year.

What's the latest news involving Alvarez?

According to Italian media outlet Calciomercato, Villa are among River Plate striker Alvarez's suitors ahead of the transfer window reopening.

The report suggests Villa, Dutch giants Ajax and Bundesliga outfit Bayer Leverkusen are set to battle it out to secure the 21-year-old's services, while AC Milan have also sent officials to Buenos Aires to monitor his progress.

It is claimed within the report that Alvarez has a release clause of £21.5million, but Villa may look to do business for less than that figure as his River Plate contract is set to expire at the end of next year.

In a recent interview with Argentinian media outlet Ole, River Plate vice-president Jorge Brito revealed Alvarez's representatives recently travelled to England amid the striker's links to the Premier League.

The same publication also alleged that Villa could face even more competition than just from Ajax, Bayer Leverkusen and AC Milan, with it suggested that Napoli and Real Madrid hold an interest.

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Villa's links to Alvarez have resurfaced after Calciomercato reported he was on the Midlands club's list of targets during the summer transfer window.

What has Luke Hatfield said about Alvarez?

Hatfield believes Villa's scouts are sure to have been keeping tabs on the exciting striker, who is valued at £18million by Transfermarkt and has been likened to Manchester United's Edinson Cavani.

He has confirmed reports that the club were keen to complete his signing during the last window.

Hatfield told GIVEMESPORT: "I'm sure that the scouting department will have been looking at him.

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"They were linked with him almost incessantly over the summer."

How has Alvarez performed so far this season?

Alvarez has been in sensational form for River Plate, scoring 15 goals and laying on six assists in 16 appearances this term.

He went into the international break on a high after finding the back of the net four times in a resounding win over Club Atletico Patronato.

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The early stages of his career would suggest Alvarez has plenty of talent, with him getting on the scoresheet on 31 occasions in 90 outings, chalking up 23 assists along the way.

Alvarez's clinical form has been rewarded in the form of him claiming five international caps for Argentina.

Read More - January Transfer Window 2022: When does it open, when does it close and which players are going to move?

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