Newcastle United and Aston Villa are set to meet this weekend in the Premier League.

While Eddie Howe’s Newcastle were the disrupters in the top four last season, Villa are being tipped to do so this time around in some circles.

Indeed, they thrashed the Toon at Villa Park back in April and have strengthened since.

Aston Villa Training and Press Conference
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Moussa Diaby, strongly linked with a move to Newcastle, is one of the headline additions under Unai Emery.

Now, another reported Toon target could be on the way there.

Unai Emery confirms Aston Villa are trying to sign Nicolo Zaniolo

Newcastle have been strongly linked with a move for Galatasaray attacking midfielder, Nicolo Zaniolo.

A £30m offer is said to be being prepared at St James’ Park, for the 24-year-old, who was hailed as “incredible” by Roma legend Danielle De Rossi during his time in the Italian capital.

Still, following an injury to Emi Buendia, Emery has confirmed Zaniolo is also on Villa’s list.

Speaking on Thursday ahead of his team’s trip to St James’, Emery said (via Fabrizio Romano): “He is one on the list and there are others.

“There could be one or more with the potential to come here. Right now it is not 100 per cent clear who they are”.

Spain v Italy - UEFA Nations League 2022/23 Semifinal
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Defence should be the priority for Newcastle

While the idea of a rival in Villa signing a player linked with Newcastle is hardly ideal, there should be other priorities during what remains of the window.

None of the options behind Fabian Schar and Sven Botman in central defence look overly convincing, particularly with the former over 30 and currently suffering with a slight injury.

Given the FFP constraints the club are working under this summer, it seems safe to assume the budget is tight at the moment.

With that in mind, any remaining funds available would surely be better spent there.

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