Aston Villa seal £22million deal for Club Brugge striker Wesley Moraes
Villa have completed a shock swoop for Brazilian striker Wesley Moraes from Club Brugge in a club record £22million deal.
The 22-year-old, who had been heavily linked with both Newcastle and Lazio, is due in the Midlands in the coming days.
Boss Dean Smith had been on the lookout for a striker with last season’s top scorer, Tammy Abraham, having returned to parent club Chelsea.
Moving for Moraes, who scored 17 goals in 48 appearances for Brugge last season, signals Villa’s intent following promotion back to the Premier League.
The fee will exceed the initial £18million Villa paid Sunderland for striker Darren Bent in January 2011.
It will also be the largest amount ever received by a club in the Belgian Jupiler League.
Moraes does not automatically qualify for a work permit but Villa are confident of obtaining one due to the size of the fee and the fact he has appeared in the Champions League in each of the last two seasons for Brugge.
He will become the first Brazilian to ever play for the club and is unlikely to be their last big money buy of the summer as Smith reshapes his squad.
Leeds midfielder Kalvin Phillips is also a top target, with Villa expected to make a firm bid in the near future, reportedly in the region of £14million.
Smith is also keen on Stoke City goalkeeper Jack Butland, while signing last season’s loan star Tyrone Mings on a permanent deal from Bournemouth remains a priority.