BBC journalist: Aston Villa won't be upping bid for 26-year-old, club convinced player mind made up
By Harry Sykes
Aston Villa are convinced they have won the race to sign Henri Lansbury from Nottingham Forest this month, according to a reliable journalist.
BBC Midlands correspondent Pat Murphy took to Twitter to report that Villa are unlikely to increase their £3million bid for the playmaker.
Murphy claimed on his personal Twitter account on Monday morning that “there’s no need” for Steve Bruce’s team to up their offer “because they believe Lansbury won’t go elsewhere”.
Seems there’s no need for @AVFCOfficial to increase their bid of £3m this month because they believe Lansbury won’t go elsewhere
— Pat Murphy (@patmurphybbc) January 9, 2017
Bruce went public with Villa’s interest in signing the Forest attacking midfielder in the immediate wake of his team’s elimination from the FA Cup at the hands of Tottenham on Sunday.
“I’ve been linked with about 40 players and he’s one of them,” said the Villa manager of Lansbury, as quoted by the Birmingham Mail. “We’ve made an enquiry but so have two, three or four other clubs.”
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Despite Bruce’s claim that up to five clubs are in the running to sign Lansbury – with Derby and Birmingham among those credited with an interest – Villa are in pole position to seal a deal for the Arsenal academy graduate.
Forest will almost certainly have to cash in on Lansbury this month because he is out of contract at the end of the season and it represents their last chance of negotiating at sizeable fee for the 26-year-old.
Lansbury has been Forest’s outstanding player this season, scoring six goals and supplying three assists in 17 league appearances.
Villa boss Bruce has made it clear that he will be active in the January market as he aims to strengthen a squad that is 12 in the table at the midway point of the season.
The ambitious Midlands giants have already signed Manchester United goalkeeper Sam Johnstone on loan until the end of the season.
Johnstone made his debut in Villa’s 2-0 FA Cup third round defeat to Tottenham on Sunday.
Football Insider verdict:
Little wonder Championship clubs are falling over themselves to prise Lansbury from Forest this month. He scores, he creates and he is a proven performer in the second tier. Lansbury’s stats speak as eloquently as the performances which have made so many Championship clubs eager to take advantage of his Forest contract status. Lansbury would be an excellent signing for Villa, who are chronically lacking someone to put their foot on the ball and orchestrate the play. He has the creativity and speed of thought to make the most of the movement of Jonathan Kodjia, Albert Adomah and company, while also being able to find the net regularly himself. It is a no-brainer for Villa to push this deal through.
In other Aston Villa transfer news, the club remain a January option for an England international.