Aston Villa turn to second French midfielder as hope fades over Emery reuniting with favourite

Houssem Aouar, Lyon, April 2022 Credit: Alamy
Houssem Aouar, Lyon, April 2022 Credit: Alamy

Aston Villa are reportedly ‘negotiating’ with Lyon for Houssem Aouar, as the chances of signing Unai Emery’s first choice, Matteo Guendouzi, are fading.

Emery’s first window at Villa Park has not been a particularly busy one. In fact, to this point, only two permanent additions – Alex Moreno and Jhon Duran – have walked through the door.

Those have been followed by multiple reports that Bertrand Traore will be returning from a loan spell at Istanbul Basaksehir.

That likely means for no incomings on the wing, with Traore providing the required cover in that area.

There have been a number of departures since Emery took charge, though. Among them, Danny Ings left on a permanent deal to West Ham United, Frederic Guilbert secured a free transfer and Ludwig Augustinsson’s loan was cut short.

Clearly, Emery has an idea of how he wants his squad to look, and will make changes where he sees fit.

One of the changes he wanted to see was the signing of Marseille midfielder Guendouzi. The Villa boss worked with the Frenchman while the pair were both at Arsenal, and it seems he was keen to reunite with him.

However, it seems a move to Villa for the midfielder is now off the table.

Aouar ‘negotiations’ ongoing

That’s according to Football Insider, who are reporting that Marseille are not willing to let Guendouzi go.

While that will be a blow to Emery’s plans to sign a ‘dynamic midfielder’, there is a backup in place.

Indeed, that report suggests Villa are believed to be ‘negotiating’ a loan deal for Lyon midfielder Aouar. It is reported that would be a loan deal.

However, the pursuit is not plain sailing for the Villans, as they ‘face competition from rival clubs’. Those are not named, and it’s not clear how far through negotiations any club are.

However, that Villa are on a good run, and are now on the same points as Liverpool and Chelsea, could stand them in good stead.

Loan deal perfect for Villa

With not long left in the window, it would be tough for Villa to find the perfect player for Emery’s system at a good price.

As such, a loan seems to be the perfect way to go. They could sign Aouar on a short-term deal, and if he impresses, they can think about a permanent deal with less time pressure.

He certainly seems to be the type of player that could thrive under Emery. The manager wants dynamism, and Aouar has shown throughout his career he can create goals and assists.

His best combined tally in the league was 15, in the 2018/19 season. Last season, he had a good year in Ligue 1, scoring six goals and assisting four.

As such, he could well benefit Villa if he does make the move.

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