Aston Villa’s club record signing Juan Pablo Angel is on the verge of completing a move to major League side New York Red Bulls.
Angel, who cost Villa £9.5m when signed from River Plate six and a half years ago, is close to tying up a two-year contract with the Major League Soccer side.
Villa are making no comment on the possibility of the deal going through but sources in the United States indicate the move is well advanced to sing the Colombia international.
Red Bulls are prepared in effect to take over the final year of Angel’s contract – worth around £40,000 a week – plus another 12-month deal on top for the 31-year-old.
Angel began the season in Villa’s first team as the spearhead of a 4-5-1 formation under Martin O’Neill and the initial signs were encouraging as he managed seven goals before Christmas.
But the signings of John Carew from Lyon and Ashley Young from Watford during the January transfer window were the first signs the writing was on the wall for Angel.
With Gabriel Agbonlahor also impressing up front and Luke Moore now recovered from a shoulder problem, Angel has slipped well down the pecking order.
He has even struggled to make the substitute’s bench in recent matches.
Angel was signed by the then Villa boss John Gregory in January 2001 and he has seldom lived up to his price tag on a consistent basis despite having a good rapport with the Villa fans on the Holte End.
His best season was in 2003-2004 when he scored 23 goals with Villa only missing out on a UEFA Cup place on goal difference to Newcastle.
But he had struggled for the past two years before O’Neill’s arrival saw him briefly return to his best form.