International to undergo medical after Aston Villa agree £6m deal - report
By Harry Sykes
Rudy Gestede will undergo a medical with Middlesbrough after agreeing the terms of a £6million transfer from Aston Villa, according to a report.
The Mail claim that the Premier League club are on the verge of striking a deal that will end Gestede’s 18-month spell at Villa.
It is said that the two clubs were in advanced negotiations on Sunday to complete the transfer and that the Benin international is expected to formally seal the move this week.
He will then be in line to make his Boro debut this weekend in their FA Cup clash against Sheffield Wednesday as his country, Benin, did not qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations.
The Times claimed last week that Villa are on the brink of agreeing a “swap deal” with Middlesbrough in which Gestede would move to the Riverside Stadium and Jordan Rhodes would head the other way.
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But the Mail do not suggest that Rhodes is part of the deal as Villa have balked at the Premier League club’s £11million asking price for the striker.
Villa manager Steve Bruce admitted on Thursday that his club were negotiating with a top flight club about a Gestede deal, although he did not name the club or confirm that a player exchange could take place.
But he provided the first confirmation that a Premier League have opened negotiations about buying the centre-forward.
“I believe a Premier League club is in discussions with us about him (Gestede) so we will see how that develops,” Bruce said, as quoted by the Mail, after Villa’s 1-1 draw against Leeds on Thursday night.
“I have six centre forwards so I might need to sell one of them to buy a midfield player or a defender. We haven’t got the balance of the squad quite right.”
Gestede moved to Villa from Blackburn in the summer of 2015 but he has not made as big an impact in the Midlands as the club would have hoped.
He has been a fringe player at Villa Park since Bruce took the reins in October and has been principally used as an impact substitute or as cover for first-choice front man Jonathan Kodjia.
Football Insider verdict:
Gestede has done little at Villa to suggest he could be anything other than a bit-part figure at a Premier League club. His height and power ensures he will always provide immense nuisance value – as Leeds found to their cost on Thursday – but he does not have the all-round game to be a regular starter at a top flight outfit. The fact that he has been on the fringes at Villa Park since Bruce took over suggests he will not take a Premier League team to the next level.
In other Aston Villa transfer news, a Premier League club has joined the race to sign a Villa ace and a £10million striker could move to the Midlands giants in part-exchange.