By Dominic Toner

Aston Villa midfielder Carlos Sanchez is edging closer to joining Marseille as the clubs are close to an agreement, according to a report.

The French giants had shown a strong interest in Villa’s Idrissa Gueye, but dropped their pursuit due to the cost of his £7.1million release clause.

However, French publication Foot 01 report that the two teams are close to agreeing a deal for Sanchez of £2million after an initial fee of £3.5million was mentioned.

Sanchez still has two years remaining on his contract and has been away competing with Columbia in the Copa America this summer.

The defensive midfielder moved to Villa for £5million in 2014 from La Liga side Elche, but following their relegation he is one of a number of players who look set to exit Villa Park this summer.

He has played a total of 48 times in the Premier League for the Midlands club, but an injury meant he played a lesser role in the most recent season playing just 20 times.

Marseille had a hugely disappointing campaign last season themselves, as they finished just nine points above the relegation places.

Manager Franck Passi is looking to avoid being dragged into the bottom half of the table this season, and has already made five signings including Newcastle’s Remy Cabella in a £6.8million switch.

Villa have already signed a potential replacement for Sanchez with Reading midfielder Aaron Tshibola joining the Championship side on a four-year deal.

In other Aston Villa transfer news, new signing Tshibola has revealed he turned down Premier League offers because he will get there under Roberto Di Matteo.