By Will Butcher

Aston Villa are facing another battle to keep Ghanaian star Jordan Ayew, after Nice declared their interest in the 24-year-old.

Ayew has been linked with a move away from Villa Park all summer, after the Midlands side were relegated from the Premier League.

French newspaper L’Equipe claim that the Ligue 1 outfit are keen to bring in the former Lorient striker, with the report also revealing that Ayew wants to leave Villa Park.

Speculation surrounding Ayew comes as no surprise, after Villa’s number 19 was linked with an £8million move to Bundesliga side Hamburger SV according to the Daily Mail.

Two things go in Villa’s favour. L’Equipe claim that Nice are looking to take Ayew on-loan while manager Di Matteo will only allow his striker to leave if they can recoup almost all of the £9million Tim Sherwood paid for him last summer. It is also reported that Ayew would prefer to find another club in the Premier League.

Di Matteo will be hoping his star-striker stays with the Midlands club as they look to secure an instant return to the top flight of English football, and is under no pressure to sell with four years still remaining on the five-year contract Ayew signed in July last year.

Ayew, who has scored 12 goals for his country in 37 caps, has scored three goals in two games during pre-season after finishing last term as Villa’s leading goalscorer.

In other Villa transfer news, Di Matteo has missed out on this Croatian veteran.