Aston Villa linked with midfielder swoop following Steven Gerrard’s trip to France

Dimitri Payet, Seko Fofana Marseille v Lens during Ligue 1 action at Stade Veledrome

Aston Villa are showing an interest in Ivory Coast midfielder Seko Fofana with a view to making a move in the summer transfer window.

Villa are expected to be one of the busiest Premier League clubs in the transfer market. Steven Gerrard has drawn up his list of targets and potential new arrivals are being checked out. Indeed Gerrard was on a scouting mission on Wednesday night.

Gerrard along with CEO Christian Purslow and sporting director Johan Lange were in France to watch Marseille. Reports in France claim that midfielder Boubacar Kamara was the target.

Midfielders on the radar

Midfield is an area that Gerrard wants to bolster and Boubacar is one option. However Fofana appears to be another according to But! Football Club.

They report that Villa are very interested in the RC Lens midfielder. Ligue 1 in France is clearly of interest to Gerrard and it is no surprise to see Fofana linked.

The 26-year-old is also on the wanted list of rival Premier League clubs. Leicester along with Villa get the biggest mention but Newcastle and Tottenham have also been linked.

Throw in interest from AC Milan, Marseille and Lyon and Villa could face a battle to land him.

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Fofana appeals as he does have experience of life in England. He spent three years with Manchester City who loaned him out to Fulham where he made 25 appearances.

The player, who has been likened to Ivory Coast legend Yaya Toure, eventually joined Udinese. He made 112 appearances scoring 13 goals for the Serie A side before signing for Lens.

Now it looks as though Villa could be keen on getting him back to England. Fofana is under contract for another two years with Lens, who are under no pressure to sell.

The report does not mention a potential transfer fee. However Spurs have been linked in the past and the figure mooted then was £18m.

Aston Villa have a big budget

That would not be an issue for Gerrard, who will have a large transfer budget this summer. Club owners Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens are set to back him to the hilt. There is talk of a £100m budget and Fofana could fit in to that.

Lens would like to keep hold but know they would struggle. The money on offer from the Premier League is usually too good to turn down.

Fofana would also have a decision to make and could be tempted to have another crack in England. Villa will be attempting to push for Europe next season and Fofana may want to be a part of that.

READ MORE: Aston Villa make strides towards big transfer as Gerrard and co make trip to observe star