Aston Villa

Aston Villa

Premier League • England

Ruthless Emery ends star’s Aston Villa career with agreement ‘very close’ for return to homeland before next game

Aston Villa manager Unai Emeryager Unai Emery

Aston Villa manager Unai Emery in full celebration

Aston Villa are on the verge of sending Lucas Digne to Nice in his native France on loan with an option for a permanent transfer, according to reports.

Digne has dropped down the pecking order at Villa Park, only starting their first two matches of the new Premier League season out of necessity after an injury to Alex Moreno. Furthermore, there are plans for Unai Emery’s side to invest in another full-back for the left-hand side.

And with Digne one of the highest earners in the squad, it has made offloading him an important task for the club this summer, since his wages do not match up with his role in the squad.

Therefore, Aston Villa are ‘very close’ to letting Nice have Digne on loan after he became a target for the Ligue 1 side, according to Nice-Matin, who have followed up information from other sources such as RMC Sport.

Per the latest update from Nice-Matin, Digne could be back in France early this week. The plan is for him to sign for Nice in time to play for them in their next fixture, against Lyon on Sunday.

Therefore, after 49 appearances for the club (and two goals) since his January 2022 arrival from Everton, it appears time is up for Digne at Villa.

According to RMC Sport‘s Fabrice Hawkins, Digne ‘wants’ to join Nice. They would be able to offer him a platform in Ligue 1 for the first time since he left Paris Saint-Germain in 2015.

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There has been a feeling that Villa would not let Digne leave without a replacement lined up. In that regard, they recently hit a dead end with their pursuit of Marcos Acuna from Sevilla.

However, they have since been focusing on trying to sign Nuno Tavares from Arsenal, which would address their void at left-back and free up Digne to depart.

It is not yet clear what kind of fee Villa could recoup for the 30-year-old if Nice activate a permanent transfer next summer.

Nice have already taken one Villa player on loan this summer after signing midfielder Morgan Sanson for the season around a month ago.

Digne now seems due to follow him to the Allianz Riviera, three years before the end of his contract with Villa.