Scouts deployed: Aston Villa in four-way chase for £4m-rated midfielder - report
By Will Butcher
Aston Villa are set to do battle with three Premier League sides for Amiens midfielder Guessouma Fofana, according to a report.
The Daily Mail claim Stoke City and Crystal Palace’s spies were in attendance during Amiens’ 2-0 win over Le Havre on Friday, while Villa and Bournemouth have also watched Fofana.
It is believed that a fee of £4million will be enough to prise the 24-year-old midfielder away from the Ligue 2 side, who are chasing promotion to France’s top tier.
The Amiens number eight can operate as a holding midfielder or in a more advanced role and has had a hand in six goals this season during his 27 Ligue 2 outings.
Scoring three times against Nimes, Tours and Ajacco, Fofana has also laid on three assists for his side despite largely playing in front of the back four.
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Known for his power and pace in midfield, Fofana might be the missing link in Villa’s side that could see Steve Bruce earn his fifth career promotion from the Championship in 2017-18.
However, Bruce must move quickly if he is to win the signature of Fofana with the lure of the Premier League likely to give Stoke, Bournemouth and Crystal Palace an advantage.
Football Insider verdict:
Villa have a multitude of central midfielders available to them. The likes of Henri Lansbury, Birkir Bjarnason and Conor Hourihane were brought to Villa Park in January to go alongside Mile Jedinak and Gary Gardner, while Aaron Tshibola, Carlos Sanchez and Jordan Veretout remain out on loan. Bruce must consider whether Fofana is an improvement on his current central midfield options before splashing a reported £4million on the Frenchman, and could instead look to persuade the likes of in-form Veretout to remain in the Midlands ahead of the 2017-18 campaign.
In other Aston Villa transfer news, this club chief has revealed Villa were not brave enough to sign up an in-form attacker.