He's off: Deal almost done as midfield goal machine set for Aston Villa move - report
By Harry Sykes
Aston Villa are poised to complete the signing of playmaker Henri Lansbury from Nottingham Forest for a fee of £3.5million, according to a report.
The Mirror claim that Lansbury’s teammates at the City Ground are convinced the deal is done for him to complete a transfer to Villa Park this month.
It is said that Forest’s rivals Derby and Birmingham have also made moves to sign the midfield goal machine in the January window.
The waters have been muddied at the City Ground by the protracted takeover by an American consortium led by John Jay Moores.
But the Mirror report that Villa are in “pole position” to land the Arsenal academy product and that the deal should go through imminently.
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Forest are vulnerable to losing Lansbury because he is out of contract at the end of the season, when he could leave on a free transfer.
The 26-year-old has been the east Midlands club’s outstanding player this season, scoring six goals and supplying three assists in 17 league appearances.
The playmaker has been sorely missed during the club’s last six matches in which he has been unavailable due to a hamstring problem and they have accumulated just a single point.
He remains unavailable to play in this weekend’s FA Cup due to injury but it is unlikely he would have played given the uncertainty over his future.
Forest have been drawn into the relegation scrap during his absence, with just a two-point cushion now above the drop zone.
Lansbury is well recognised for his goalscoring talents, netting 33 goals in 150 Forest appearances, a superb strike rate for a midfielder, as well as supplying 20 assists.
Villa are heading in a different direction in the Championship table and Steve Bruce’s side are hoping to reach the play-off places by the end of the season.
They are currently 12th in the Championship table and seven points adrift of sixth-placed Sheffield Wednesday.
Football Insider verdict:
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. He scores a goals at a rate of one every four-and-a-half matches, an excellent record for a midfielder, and also weighs in which his share of assists. There is not a team in the second tier that he would not improve. Lansbury will be an excellent signing for Villa, who are chronically lacking someone to design 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. Crucially for Steve Bruce, Lansbury knows the Championship inside out and will be able to hit the ground running.
In other Aston Villa transfer news, the club remain a January option for an England international.