EXCLUSIVE: Aston Villa will have to break bank to land key midfield target this summer

Geoffrey Kondogbia Rodri April 2022

Geoffrey Kondogbia will remain at Atletico Madrid unless Aston Villa come in with a huge offer for the player, TEAMtalk understands.

Steven Gerrard is said to have pinpointed the defensive midfield role as one which needs improving, especially after Marvelous Nakamba’s spell on the sidelines after he suffered an injury in December. And Gerrard is understood to travelled to Spain this month to watch Atletico Madrid midfielder Kondogbia against Manchester City.

A report from BirminghamLive claims that Gerrard and sporting director Johan Lange were in the stands to watch Kondogbia against City.

The 29-year-old played in both quarter-final legs against City, but he was more impressive at the Wanda Metropolitano. City though won through 1-0 on aggregate to book their place in the semi-finals.

BirminghamLive has reported that Kondogbia is a “serious target” for Gerrard. And more importantly Aston Villa are “very confident” of securing his signature.

But the French-born midfielder, who is out of contract in 2024, will be hard to lure from Madrid.

Kondogbia on £115,000 a week

TEAMtalk understands that Kondogbia, who is on around £115,000-a-week in Spain, is likely to remain at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium unless Villa come in with an above-the-market offer.

That would mean Villa topping his current salary and also making a bid that Atletico cannot refuse.

Ateltico signed the Central African Republic midfielder from Spanish rivals Valencia in November 2020. They used a loophole in LaLiga ruled to land the player outside the transfer window.

Kondogbia joined Atletico on a four-year contract for an undisclosed fee, although Marca claimed the deal was worth £12.64m.

And Atletico would at least be looking for their money back for a player, who has made 34 appearances this season.

Villa owners Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens have committed nearly £350m on new players since Villa were promoted in 2019

And Gerrard, who is also interested in Leeds’ Kalvin Phillips, has hinted that spending will continue.

Will Villa owners go big this summer?

Steven Gerrard Aston Villa 2022 TEAMtalk41

“Now is the not the time to talk about figures and amounts,” said Gerrard earlier this month.

“What the owners have done for this club has been phenomenal in terms of the backing. I don’t think they’ll change because given the communication I’ve had. They’re very ambitious and they want to win matches, as I do.”

According to reports in Spain, Atletico are poised to sign Marseille midfielder Boubacar Kamara on a free transfer. That in turn could pave the way for Kondogbia’s exit.

Goal reports Kondogbia is happy in Madrid. But he could be willing to move if his opportunities under Diego Simeone become limited.

Kondogbia has started 16 games in La Liga this season, and he has made a further seven appearances from the bench.

Just how much Villa will commit to spending this summer remains unclear. But they will have make Kondogbia one of their biggest, if not the biggest earner, if they are to sign him.

READ MORE: Aston Villa transfer plan under threat with top performer ‘open’ to surprise Newcastle switch