Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard has fanned the flames when asked about his chances of the Lucas Digne transfer to Villa Park being done this month.
Digne is eager to leave Goodison Park after falling out with manager Rafa Benitez last month. The left-back has been out of the team ever since, with his replacement Vitaliy Mykolenko already brought in.
The France full-back initially appeared destined to join Chelsea. Thomas Tuchel is looking to add to his ranks amid Ben Chilwell’s serious ankle problem.
Newcastle are also in the mix, but it seems the former Barcelona man has rejected the opportunity to move to Tyneside.
As such, it emerged over the weekend that Villa are in the driving seat to pinch Digne from under their rivals’ noses.
And according to reports on Monday, Digne has already agreed personal terms at Villa Park with a long-term deal likely.
The deal will see Villa pay Everton a fee of around £25m – decent money for one of the world’s best in his position.
Gerrard was asked about the prospects of signing Digne following the FA Cup exit at Manchester United.
And the former Rangers boss was clearly happy to drop a big tease that his capture is imminent.
Villa agree terms with Lucas Digne as Chelsea pull out of race
Lucas Digne will sign for Aston Villa from Everton as Chelsea pull out of the race for left back
“We are working hard on targets,” said Gerrard.
“It is not respectful to mention any names but there is no smoke without fire. We want to try and improve certain areas of our team and our squad.”
Reports indicate Digne will sign a three-and-a-half-year deal at Villa Park. And many will view the player as an automatic starter and upgrade on current left-back option Matt Targett.
Benitez confirms Lucas Digne transfer looks on
Toffees boss Benitez has also confirmed that Digne is looking for a route out of Goodison Park.
His last appearance came in the Merseyside derby loss to Liverpool. As such, it’s highly likely he won’t be seen in an Everton shirt again.
“I’ve had a couple of conversations with him, he told me what he thought,” said Benitez, about Digne.
“So what do you expect the manager to do when he’s thinking about leaving?
“I will say again, fans and former players, what would Peter Reid say if a player goes to the manager he doesn’t want to be here? Simple.”