Aston Villa agree $18m deal with Chicago Fire for transfer of Jhon Duran

Aston Villa have announced an agreement with the Chicago Fire for the transfer of Colombian youngster Jhon Duran.

The West Midlands revealed in a club statement that they are yet to agree personal terms with Duran, while he will also need to pass a medical and obtain a necessary work visa.

However, the Premier League side now have a straight shot at landing the 19-year-old striker, with 90min sources confirming Villa have agreed an $18m guaranteed fee, with the Fire potentially receiving up to $4m extra in performance-related bonuses.

90min understands Villa had to beat off sustained interest from Portuguese giants Benfica in order to agree a deal for Duran, who also attracted interest from clubs across Europe's top leagues.

Duran - capped three times for his country at senior level - has enjoyed a stellar debut year in MLS in 2023 after arriving from Envigado in his homeland for up to just $2.5m, scoring eight goals and providing six assists in 28 appearances across all competitions, including five goals in his last five MLS regular season outings.

When asked about the striker's future in October, Fire head coach Ezra Hendrickson had expressed a desire to keep Duran around for another year but even then, already seemed resigned to the possibility of losing him.

"Well, I certainly hope that he's with us next year. But you know, when you're a player of that caliber and that talent at such a young age, I would be surprised if teams, especially European teams weren't looking or weren't paying attention," said Hendrickson. "And also, getting a call-up to the Colombian National Team I'm sure helped as far as the exposure for him."

Duran's departure follows the sale of goalkeeping talent Gabriel Slonina, who signed for Chelsea in a deal worth up to $15m in the summer before spending the rest of the 2022 MLS season back on loan at Solider Field. Should both players hit their full potential, Chicago could receive $37m in transfer fees.

Source : 90min