'Agreed' - Newcastle United rivals Aston Villa land six-year deal as early business continues with £40m swoop

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One of Newcastle United’s rivals for a Champions League spot next year are set to complete more summer business

Aston Villa have agreed a deal with Chelsea for left-back Ian Maatsen with the fee reported to be around £40m. Widespread reports claim the defender is set to leave Stamford Bridge for Villa Park and that the £40m transfer fee will rise with add-ons.

Maatsen joined Chelsea in 2019 but has spent most of his time out on loan. He has had spells at Charlton Athletic, Coventry City, Burnley and most recently with last season’s Champions League finalists Borussia Dortmund.

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He had been linked with a permanent move to Dortmund but is now set to head to Birmingham as Villa continue to be among the busiest Premier League clubs. Unai Emery’s side have been in talks with former Everton and Chelsea man Ross Barkley while they are also in discussions with Juventus over a swap deal that would see Douglas Luiz head to Turin but see Weston McKennie and Samuel Iling-Junior go the other way.

Maatsen has a release clause of £35m but Villa are set to pay more than that, with a six-year deal said to be agreed ahead of talks over personal terms. Dortmund were reportedly unable to meet the financial demands laid out by Chelsea in order to make his loan permanent. He played 23 times for the Signal Iduna Park outfit across the Bundesliga and Champions League, scoring three goals.

Villa’s transfer position has been strengthened following their qualification for the Champions League as they seek to build a squad strong enough to consistently challenge for a top-four spot. Newcastle finished in the top four in the 2022-23 season, with Eddie Howe’s side harbouring ambitions of breaking back into Europe’s elite once again next season.

Maatsen came under fire after the Champions League final that saw Real Madrid win 2-0 at Wembley for their 15th European Cup triumph. However, Borussia Dortmund head coach at the time Edin Terzic defended the player and back him to have a bright future in the game.

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He said: “Now we can speak about Ian, I think that Ian was part of a really good team today, especially in that first half we went close to scoring and Ian was one of the reasons because he played a fantastic game. And then there was the momentum where the game turned around and you see why they are the champions of this competition.

“Yeah, this is a game full of mistakes and it’s all about the reaction. Ian is a player who always wants to get on the ball, it doesn’t matter how tight the situation is, he wants to get on the ball and he wants to accelerate, he wants to play forward. And if you have this kind of mentality then, of course, sometimes you are going to lose the ball.

“No hard feelings whatsoever about Ian because they did similar situations in the first half but we didn’t show the efficiency to score. I’m quite sure that Ian is going to learn from that night and he’s going to have a bright future.”

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