By Harry Sykes
Napoli are close to completing the signing of Aston Villa midfielder target Amadou Diawara from Bologna, according to a report.
Sky Italy journalist Gianluca Di Marzio has claimed on his website that the Serie A big hitters are hopeful of finalising a deal for the teenager by Saturday.
It is said that negotiations are ongoing about whether Diawara would join on a permanent deal or a loan with an obligation to buy.
Nevertheless, the report says that the 19-year-old has been offered a five-year contract by Napoli and a a permanent transfer is more likely.
This will be a blow to Villa after after Italian newspaper Tutto Sport claimed on Monday that the Midlands club had tabled a £14.5million bid for him and agreed personal terms.
Diawara’s agent Daniele Piraino also confirmed an offer has been put on the table by the Championship side.
“It’s true that there’s an offer from Aston Villa,” said Piraino to broadcaster Sport Italia, as quoted by Italian Football Daily. “But it continues to be in Bologna’s hands, I have no say.”
This comes after Sky Sports Italy stated that Villa’s hopes of landing Diawarea had been reignited after his talks with Roma and Napoli stalled.
It is said that Diawara has been absent from pre-season training and wasn’t given a squad number in the list handed to Serie A officials last Saturday.
The youngster is determined to leave Bologna after a number of European giants showed interest in his signature.
Diawara signed for Bologna last summer and went on to make 34 appearances for the club as Roberto Donadoni’s side finished a respectable 14th last season.
The Guinea-born midfielder, who is known for his energetic style, attempted 1626 passes last term making him the youngest player in the top five European leagues to attempt 1000+ passes.
In other Aston Villa transfer news, this £50,000-a-week defender is holding talks of a transfer.