Man Utd and Liverpool both plotted swoop for Jhon Duran before Aston Villa sealed £18m transfer for Chicago Fire star

MANCHESTER UNITED and Liverpool were both weighing up a move for Colombian forward Jhon Duran before Aston Villa made their move.

The 19-year-old forward has completed an £18million switch to the Midlands from MLS side Chicago Fire.

Jhon Duran sealed a switch to Aston Villa but could have gone to Man Utd or LiverpoolGetty

Both North West giants have been monitoring Duran during an impressive first season in the States – according to sources at his old club – while Benfica were also keen.

And former Blackburn defender Seb Pelzer – who is now technical director for the Fire – believes he is well suited to the English top flight.

He said: “Physically he stands out.

“He’s a big, strong boy, left-footed with good pace and can hold the ball up well.

“He’s not finishing his development yet but he’s already showing a lot of aspects for a top player.”

Pelzer spotted Duran while watching another player at his former club Envigado and quickly sanctioned a £1.5m move.

He was convinced the club could make a big profit on the youngster, who moved to America in early 2022 and quickly attracted the attention of several Premier League clubs.

Villa have won the race and the three-cap Colombia ace is expected to compete with Ollie Watkins for a starting berth in Unai Emery’s side.

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Duran will be boosted by the imminent shock £15m exit of Danny Ings.

The former Southampton and Burnley striker looks set to complete his transfer to West Ham on Thursday.

United have signed Jack Butland and Wout Weghorst this month while Liverpool splashed out £37m on Cody Gakpo, who was a target for the Red Devils.

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