Emery linked with reunion interest as Villa eye midfield reinforcement

Aston Villa boss Unai Emery is reportedly keen to secure a reunion with Marseille midfielder Matteo Guendouzi.

The pair have previously worked together during their time at Arsenal, where Guendouzi made 82 appearances after joining the Gunners in 2018. He eventually sealed a permanent move to Marseille last summer having spent time there on loan prior.

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The French international, now 23, has made 78 appearances for the Ligue 1 side in total, scoring eight goals and providing 17 assists. Having also made his breakthrough at senior international level, he has continued to develop and improve his game to build on the potential that he previously showed in England.

According to Footmercato, Guendouzi is attracting interest from the Premier League again, and among the clubs potentially pursuing him is Villa. It’s added that no official offer has been made as of yet, but Emery has recently spoken to the French midfielder and communicated that he wants to sign him this month.

The report suggests that Guendouzi is likely to be valued in excess of €30m, but if a good offer were to arrive, Marseille would likely consider it.

However, there is seemingly still a long way to go in this one given that there is no suggestion that talks between the two clubs have even begun yet on a potential deal.

Emery is expected to be backed by the Villa hierarchy this month as he begins to stamp his mark on the squad and bring in his own players who better suit his ideas and the style that he wishes to implement at the club.

As per Fabrizio Romano, Villa are closing in on our first signing under the Spaniard, with Alex Moreno set to be announced soon.

Having been able to have a close look at the Spanish left-back during his time in charge of Villarreal in his previous role, Emery will be fully aware of what he can add to his new team. He will know exactly what Guendouzi brings given their previous relationship, and he will perhaps have tracked his progress since they went their separate ways too.

Time will tell if we can agree a deal during January if he is a genuine target, but whether it’s to add competition in the middle for the likes of Douglas Luiz and Boubacar Kamara, or perhaps to play in a wider midfield role which John McGinn has been doing in recent weeks, it’s another area where Emery seemingly believes we need to improve and add more quality.