Aston Villa have reportedly positioned themselves at the front of the queue to sign Boubacar Kamara by tabling a huge offer for the departing Marseille midfielder.
The 22-year-old star has been a regular in the Marseille side for the past four seasons, making 146 appearances during that time. But having rejected the offer of a new deal, he will likely leave as a free agent this summer.
That has, predictably, seen the former France U21 star linked with a plethora of clubs. Manchester United and Leeds were both among the eary suitors, but the pair have both eased away from a prospective deal for various reasons.
Newcastle are also seemingly among his suitors. However, the strongest Premier League interest has come from Aston Villa. To that end, Villa boss Steven Gerrard is reported to have watched the player in person with a potential swoop in mind.
However, they appeared to only be second favourites for his signature, with reports in Spain last week tipping Atletico Madrid to secure his signature.
Villa, though, are refusing to back down. As such AS claims the Midlands club are positioning themselves strongly in the chase.
They state Villa are a serious ‘threat’ to Atleti’s plans, having ‘put more money on the table’ for the player.
Whether that will be enough to tempt him to move to Villa Park, however, remains to be seen.
Atletico Madrid are currently third in LaLiga and are guaranteed a top four finish. And that will mean Kamara would have to turn his back on Champions League football were he to join Villa.
Villa ready to spend this summer
Gerrard has stressed though that he is keen to strengthen Villa’s spine this summer. To that end, the signing of Kamara would tick plenty of boxes for Villa.
“There are areas of the team where we are blessed and lucky to have some top talent. But there are also areas where we believe we can get stronger and better,” he said.
“I think the spine of the team needs some support.
“We have got enough volume here. We have got enough bodies here. I don’t need quantity. I am looking for upgrades in certain areas of the team, who will naturally make the squad better.”
Gerrard appeal may not be enough for Boubacar Kamara
Despite Gerrard’s best efforts, he may find himself missing out on a deal for Kamara.
The capture of a new tough-tackling midfielder is clearly high on Gerrard’s agenda. It’s for that reason why Villa are also being strongly linked with a move for Kalvin Phillips.
The Villa boss has a massive aura about him. And he’s the kind of manager who, as a player, you would want to play for.
And it’s clear that Aston Villa will be upwardly mobile under his management next season.
However, despite his charisma and the obvious appeal of the Premier League, Villa are unable to offer European football to would-be signings.
And not only can Atletico offer Kamara that, they are also able to challenge strongly for trophies too.
There may yet be a surprise with Boubacar Kamara opting for Villa if he feels his chances of playing are served better there.
However, Villa may need to re-visit other targets, such as Brighton’s Yves Bissouma, if they are to land that new central midfielder.