Yves Bissouma should be the priority target for Aston Villa in the summer even though they can “cope without” him now, one pundit claims.
Villa were busy in the summer 2021 transfer window and they followed it up with a productive January. Midway through the season, their squad was reinforced with four new faces.
Philippe Coutinho, Lucas Digne, Robin Olsen and Calum Chambers all signed up at Villa Park.
But there was further business on the minds of Villa chiefs. Right up to deadline day, they were linked with a swoop for Brighton midfielder Yves Bissouma.
The Mali man is in the final 18 months of his contract at the Amex Stadium. He will be keen to explore his options since there is plenty of interest in his services.
Villa are keen to show their ambition by competing for Bissouma’s signature. It seems likely he will remain on their radar for the summer after missing out last month.
And he could be the final piece of the puzzle if Villa can get him, according to former striker Gabriel Agbonlahor.
“The Bissouma deal is one I imagined they really wanted but they won’t pay over the odds for someone who hasn’t got long left on his contract,” Agbonlahor told Football Insider.
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“Villa probably think they can cope without Bissouma until the summer. Then you can get him in the summer for a lesser amount.
“100 per cent a defensive midfielder is going to be the summer priority.
“Steven Gerrard will be happy with his other midfielders of [Morgan] Sanson, [Jacob] Ramsey and [John] McGinn. He’ll be happy with the other two spaces in the midfield.
“With the forward players, he’ll be more than happy. A defensive midfielder is the biggest part missing of the jigsaw and I can see that being Bissouma.”
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As reported by the Express & Star, Brighton were holding out for £50m for Bissouma in the winter. By the end of the season, though, his contract situation means they won’t be able to command such a fee.
Villa will therefore try their luck again, within a saga that runs in tandem with that of Douglas Luiz.
Douglas is out of contract with Villa in 2023, but they are trying to renew his contract too.
They rejected some offers for the Brazilian in January, including a deadline-day approach from Tottenham. Now, they are aiming to extend his deal, while adding more quality in his area of the pitch with Bissouma.