Key update offered on touted Villa pursuit of top midfield target

Aston Villa are reportedly not in talks with Marseille over a late transfer for midfielder Matteo Guendouzi, as they have no intention of letting him leave this month.

The 23-year-old has impressed for the Ligue 1 side since initially joining them on loan in 2021, scoring nine goals and providing 18 assists in 82 appearances, while also earning seven caps at senior level for France.

READ MORE: Medical scheduled as Villa man set to secure loan exit

Villa boss Unai Emery knows him well following their previous stint working together at Arsenal, and with exits in midfield this month, it was a possibility that Villa might look to bolster our options in that department before the January transfer window deadline.

However, according to Fabrizio Romano, no talks are taking place between Villa and Marseille on Tuesday as the French giants have no intention of letting their key man leave this month.

In turn, that is one touted target that we can rule out joining us in a late switch, but time will tell if we revisit that move in the summer as Emery is perhaps focused on bringing in his first-choice targets and is willing to wait until the end of the season if necessary.

The Villa boss has insisted since he arrived that while his primary focus was to improve the players already at his disposal, he would only sign players who significantly improve what he already has available.

We’ve moved for Alex Moreno and Jhon Duran to strengthen the group, but with several exits, it has raised question marks over whether or not we’ll have enough quality depth and competition to continue to push on and compete for a European qualification spot.

While Villa have already allowed Morgan Sanson to leave on loan to join Strasbourg, The Telegraph’s John Percy has reported that Marvelous Nakamba is expected to leave on a temporary basis too as he closes in on a loan move to Luton Town.

Speaking earlier this month, Emery suggested that if both left, that could trigger a move for a midfielder ourselves to fill that void and bring in another important option.

“Nakamba and Sanson have the possibility to leave,” Emery said in his pre-Southampton press conference. “If they leave, the idea is to maybe add one more player as a midfielder.”

However, if it became apparent that a deal can’t be done for Guendouzi ahead of the deadline on Tuesday, then it seems Villa are prepared to wait until the summer to bring in our preferred reinforcements, and the focus this month has largely been to try and move on players deemed surplus to requirements.

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