Villa tipped to wait until summer to swoop for forward

Aston Villa could reportedly wait until the summer to try and sign Lyon forward Moussa Dembele on a free transfer, rather than pay a fee for him this month.

The 26-year-old has fallen out of favour this season with his current contract set to expire in the summer, but he has enjoyed another impressive spell having previously scored goals for Celtic and Fulham.

READ MORE: £20m valuation touted for Villa target to bolster attacking options

In 160 appearances for the French giants, Dembele has scored 69 goals and provided 19 assists, and so he would add firepower to the Villa attack if a move was to materialise.

As per the Daily Mail last week, it had been suggested that Villa had approached Lyon over a transfer, and that he could be available to sign for around £3m, given his contract situation.

However, while Footmercato also report on Villa’s interest in Dembele, they’ve claimed that our intention is to wait until the summer and target the French forward on a free transfer, rather than pay a fee to Lyon before this month’s deadline.

That is said to be our current position, but with Everton said to no longer be an option for Dembele, it hasn’t been ruled out that our strategy might change in the coming days.

With Villa officially confirming the arrival of Jhon Duran from Chicago Fire on Monday, it’s unclear if that switch has had a knock-on effect in this situation. Emery has already stressed that the 19-year-old Colombian talent will need time to adapt and so he isn’t expected to throw him straight into the mix, but the youngster will certainly offer a different dynamic in the final third.

Dembele though boasts vital experience and a track record at a good level throughout his career thus far, and it could be argued that we need more up top to complement Ollie Watkins and Duran and ensure that we have enough in that department to keep moving us up the Premier League table this season.

However, Emery has been adamant that we will only sign players who improve the squad, and as we’ve seen through the incomings and outgoings already this month, he will make decisions that benefit the club in the long run and so perhaps waiting for Dembele to become a free agent could be the sensible strategy.