EXCLUSIVE By Pete O’Rourke
Aston Villa are set to miss out on highly-rated French defender Harold Moukoudi after he decided to stay at Le Havre, Football Insider sources understands.
Centre-back Moukoudi held talks with Villa boss Steve Bruce on Thursday at Villa’s Bodymoor Heath training ground.
Villa were hoping to take Moukoudi on loan with an obligation to sign him on a permanent deal when the transfer window reopens in January.
However, a well-placed source has told Football Insider that Moukoudi has decided to snub the interest from Villa following an overnight U-turn and is set to remain at Le Havre so that he can continue his development with regular first-team football.
The news is a blow for Bruce as he was keen to add another central defender to his Villa squad before the transfer window closes on Friday.
A number of Premier League clubs, including West Ham United and Brighton & Hove Albion have been linked with Moukoudi this summer and his suitors are expected to keep tabs on his progress at Le Havre before firming up their interest again in January.
In other Aston Villa news, Football Insider can reveal the club are working on a stunning last-gasp deal to sign £30,000-a-week Premier League player.