Aston Villa cannot grant Rodrigo Bentancur wish if he completes transfer from Juventus

Aston Villa are still hotly pursuing Juventus midfielder Rodrigo Bentancur as the transfer window ticks towards deadline day.

Villa boss Steven Gerrard still wants to sign two new players, including a defensive-minded midfielder.

Brighton midfielder Yves Bissouma has been heavily linked with a transfer to Villa Park, but the club have been put off by the Malian’s reported £50million price tag.

Uruguayan Bentancur, 24, has emerged as an alternative to Bissouma and Gerrard has reportedly received a glowing reference from his international teammate Luis Suarez.

Villa have reportedly been quoted around £16m for Bentancur, who has featured 19 times in Serie A for Juventus this term.

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There is still a way to go before Bentancur is holding up a Villa shirt though, with Juve looking to reinforce their own squad first and foremost with the addition in-demand Fiorentina forward Dusan Vlahovic.

Villa have already made three signings this window in the form of Philippe Coutinho, Lucas Digne and Robin Olsen, while Scottish youngster Kerr Smith has joined from Dundee United to bolster the club’s under-23 ranks.

Coutinho has been handed shirt number 23, Digne 27 and Olsen 25 – but Bentancur’s preferred number isn’t available at Villa Park.

The midfielder wears the number six for Uruguay, with whom he’s won 45 caps, but he has always worn 30 at club level.

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Explaining his preference for the number 30, Bentancur said: “It’s the number I had at Boca Juniors, and I asked for it when I arrived in Turin. It’s the day my mother was born. She watches me and brings me luck from up there.”

Kortney Hause, who recently penned a new Villa contract, dons the number 30 for Gerrard’s side so Bentancur will have to look elsewhere if he completes his transfer.

The number six currently belongs to Douglas Luiz. Bentancur could take the number 16, which was vacated by Axel Tuanzebe when his loan from Manchester United was cancelled earlier this month.

Available squad numbers

14 (last worn by Conor Hourihane)

16 (last worn by Axel Tuanzebe)

21 (last worn by Anwar El Ghazi)

22 (last worn by Bjorn Engels)

24 (last worn by Frederic Guilbert)

26 (last worn by Emiliano Martinez)

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