By Harry Sykes
Henri Lansbury will train with Aston Villa on Friday morning and is in line to make his debut for the club on Saturday, according to a reliable journalist.
The BBC’s Midlands correspondent Pat Murphy took to Twitter on Friday to claim attacking midfielder Lansbury’s move to the Midlands giants from Championship rivals Nottingham Forest is “done”.
Murphy reported on his personal Twitter account that Villa will pay £2.75million for the 26-year-old, whose Forest contract expires in the summer.
The experienced journalist added that Lansbury will take part in first-team training with Steve Bruce’s side on Friday morning and “may be” in the matchday squad for Saturday’s league fixture against Preston at Villa Park.
Lansbury deal done for £2.75m. Will train with @AVFCOfficial this morning & may be in tomorrow’s squad. Villa will bid £1m for Hourihane.
— Pat Murphy (@patmurphybbc) January 20, 2017
Murphy also added to the growing whispers surrounding Villa’s pursuit of Conor Hourihane by claiming the Midlands outfit will lodge a bid of £1million for the Barnsley playmaker.
It could mean two new arrivals to go with the earlier January capture of goalkeeper Sam Johnstone, who joined on loan from Manchester United in a deal that runs until the end of the season.
Lansbury is now set to become their first permanent signing of a window that owner Tony Xia has promised will bring strong reinforcements to the squad.
Xia took to Twitter on Friday to reveal an announcement will be made by the club at midday, prompting speculation it will be the signing of Lansbury.
The 26-year-old has been strongly pursued by Villa this month as they aim to add soma attacking flair to a team that has a miserable return of just 26 goals from 26 league matched this season.
Lansbury has an excellent record of scoring and creating from midfield, netting six goals providing three assists this season for a Forest side that is struggling in the bottom half of the Championship.
Football Insider verdict:
Aston Villa supporters have had little to celebrate in recent seasons but the imminent arrival of Lansbury is certainly worth a jig of joy. Steve Bruce’s side have lost their last three matches and are in desperate need of a fresh face to lift the dressing room. Forest captain Lansbury is a strong character, proven in the Championship and has a goals and assists record that would leave most Villa players green with envy.
In other Aston Villa transfer news, the odds have been slashed for the sensational transfer of this striker.