By Wayne Veysey

10th Nov, 2022 | 8:00am

Sources: Aston Villa plot move to sign A-list forward after Unai Emery green light

Aston Villa have set their sights on signing an A-list forward in January, sources have told Football Insider.

Unai Emery has given the green light to recruiting a versatile operator who can potentially play anywhere across the front line.

The new manager wants an upgrade on the likes of Emiliano Buendia, Philippe Coutinho, Leon Bailey and Bertrand Traore.

Football Insider revealed last month (27 October) that Villa will back Emery with a “huge” January kitty to bolster a misfiring squad.

The club are planning to shortlist a centre-back, with Pau Torres of Emery’s former club Villarreal a top target, as well as a forward.

Aston Villa’s current senior striking options, Danny Ings and Ollie Watkins, have netted just four and two goals respectively across all competitions.

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Leon Bailey has also notched four strikes, while youngster Cameron Archer is yet to hit the net after signing a bumper contract in the summer.

The Midlands giants sit 13th in the Premier League after Emery recorded a much-needed 3-1 win over Man United in his first game on Sunday (6 November).

However, Villa are just three points clear of the drop zone and will look for January reinforcements in order to avoid a bitter relegation battle.

Steven Gerrard was given a reported £61.5million bounty to spend during the summer window – adding experienced stars Boubacar Kamara, Diego Carlos, and Leander Dendoncker, among others.

Coutinho was signed on a permanent basis from Barcelona – but has raised fears with his performances after failing to score or assist in 13 appearances this season.

The 30-year-old was brought in off the back of his impressive six-month loan last term but has struggled to recreate that form in the new campaign.

Emery’s side face Brighton on Sunday (13 November) in their last Premier League test before the World Cup break.

In other news, pundit “shocked” by Bailey controversy missed by BBC cameras at Aston Villa.