Aston Villa are reportedly in talks with Angers president Said Chabane over a potential move for midfielder Azzedine Ounahi.
The 22-year-old joined the Ligue 1 side in July 2021, and has since gone on to make 48 appearances for the club, scoring two goals and providing two assists to go along with his overall influence in central midfield.
He has gained significant interest following his impressive performances at the World Cup at the end of last year, and it appears as though Villa are one of the interested parties.
According to TuttoNapoli, journalist Ciro Venerato has reported that Angers president Chabane travelled to England this week with the intention to hold discussions with Villa, who are now looking at alternative options in the transfer market after being snubbed by Juventus midfielder Weston McKennie.
It’s suggested that Villa will now provide competition to Napoli who have made an initial €15m offer, and so it remains to be seen if we can win the race for Ounahi’s signature or if we’ll be forced to look elsewhere again.
This comes off the back of an earlier report from L’Equipe, who suggest an unnamed Premier League club have stepped up their interest with a view of beating Napoli to signing Ounahi, and they specifically ruled out Leicester City as being the mystery outfit.
However, with Leeds Utd also heavily linked with an interest, it’s unclear at this stage if it’s us or them who will be holding talks with Chabane this week, and so it’s hoped that we get clarification to determine if we are genuinely keen on signing Ounahi this month.
Unai Emery has already welcomed his first Villa signing after Alex Moreno’s arrival last week, while the club have confirmed an agreement has been reached to make Jhon Duran our second January addition.
With the Villa boss expected to continue to stamp his mark on the squad with reinforcements who are perhaps better suited to his ideas and style of play, time will tell if Ounahi has emerged as one of his priorities to bolster our midfield options.
The midfield seems to be an area Emery is keen to improve though and so it does tie together, with Footmercato reporting on our interest in Matteo Guendouzi – albeit they suggest that he could turn down a move to join us – while Corriere dello Sport back up the claim above that McKennie has already snubbed us.
In turn, perhaps Ounahi becomes the most realistic option and it remains to be seen if we can fend off the touted competition and secure his services.