According to Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona are in contact with Villarreal over the sale of Emerson, the talented full-back that they co-own with Real Betis.
Mundo Deportivo report that Villarreal are ‘best positioned’ to recruit the 22-year-old, as they’ve been firm with their talks over a transfer and closest to the valuation that Barcelona seek for Emerson.
It’s claimed that Betis boss Manuel Pellegrini has informed the Andalusian club’s board of directors of his desire to keep hold of Emerson, but he’s been told that Barcelona intend to make a big sale.
Mundo Deportivo have found that Barcelona value the right-back at €24m, with Villarreal already open to hitting the mark of €22m, so a transfer agreement could be edging closer.
Barcelona and Betis’ co-ownership deal is described as quite complicated, both sides stumped up €6m to sign the ace from Brazilian side Atletico Mineiro, but will be entitled to different figures if he’s sold.
Mundo Deportivo report that Betis would take a cut of €9m – were Emerson to be sold for €24m, whilst Barcelona would actually net all of the remaining 15 as the ace’s five-year contract is tied to them.
Villarreal may be around the figure of Barcelona’s valuation but it’s crucially noted that a deal will be contingent on whether the Yellow Submarine qualify for European football or not.
Unai Emery’s side sit seventh in the La Liga table with two matches remaining, a top four spot is out of the question with those finishes already secured, but they’re in a battle for the Europa League finishes.
Villarreal are also in the final of Europe’s secondary club competition, where they face the difficult task of Manchester United, an underdog victory here would qualify them for the Champions League.
Mundo Deportivo add that if Emerson isn’t sold to Villarreal, he will officially join Barcelona, where he’s rated highly but the cash-strapped club would find his sale as more beneficial.
Emerson already has 77 appearances for Betis to his name, scoring five times and contributing 10 assists, the Brazilian is one of the better young full-backs in Spain and even Europe.