Unai Emery delight as source reveals Aston Villa target will ‘definitely’ gain transfer this summer
Unai Emery will be extremely happy after finding out Aston Villa striker target Moussa Dembele will be leaving Lyon in the summer transfer window.
Dembele has had an eventful career, spending time in Paris Saint-Germain’s academy before going on to play for Fulham, Celtic, Atletico Madrid and Lyon. Other than with Atleti, the centre-forward has scored regular goals wherever he has been.
Dembele has been on Lyon’s books since August 2018, when the French club paid Celtic €22million to sign him. Either side of a disappointing loan spell at Atleti, Dembele has managed 70 goals in 169 matches for Lyon.
In October, French source Jeunes Footeux detailed how Villa have the 26-year-old on their transfer shortlist. Fellow French outlet Foot Mercato added to the rumours in January, revealing how Emery ‘would love’ to capture Dembele.
The manager has been a fan of him for a long time and tried to sign him during spells at PSG and Villarreal. Emery has been unsuccessful both times, but he is hoping it will be third time lucky at Villa.
Despite Dembele’s contract being due to expire in June, Lyon refrained from selling him to Villa in the winter window.
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Instead, Dembele looks set to depart the Ligue 1 outfit on a free transfer at the end of the season. And Sky Sport Germany reporter Florian Plettenberg has confirmed this is the case.
In a tweet, he explained how Dembele will ‘definitely leave’ Lyon once his contract runs out. The Frenchman has decided against renewing his deal at the Groupama Stadium, allowing him to choose which club he wants to join.
Aston Villa must fight off German, Italian clubs for deal
Plettenberg claims Dembele has transfer opportunities in England, Germany and Italy, although he does not reveal which clubs are plotting moves. What is known is that the Bundesliga is a ‘very interesting’ prospect for the goalscorer.
Dembele will ask for €3m (£2.6m) in wages per year, which works out at roughly £50,000 a week. Plettenberg ends his tweet by calling Dembele a ‘free agent to watch’ as the summer window edges closer.
While the journalist does not name Villa specifically, it is highly likely they are among the Premier League teams preparing to move in for Dembele. This is because of the rumours from previous reports and the fact Emery is a big fan of the attacker.
Emery will be delighted to hear that one of his main summer objectives will be securing a transfer this summer, especially because he is available on a free.
In another welcome boost for Emery, Villa should be able to meet Dembele’s contract demands. The £50k a week he is asking for is less than what some of Villa’s highest earners take home. As per Spotrac, the Villans have six players who earn £100k per week or more.
While current striker Ollie Watkins is in great form, having registered six goals in his last eight league outings, Villa could still do with adding another senior striker to their ranks.
They sold Danny Ings to West Ham in January but have yet to properly replace him. 19-year-old striker Jhon Duran is in Emery’s squad, but he needs time to develop.
Dembele would be a great replacement for Ings at Villa Park. He knows what it is like to play in the UK, having represented Fulham and Celtic in the past. Plus, he has shown he can score goals in European competitions with Lyon.
Meanwhile, Tottenham have been told to raid Villa for a player described as one of the world’s best.