Aston Villa have usurped West Ham in the race to sign an AC Milan forward, with Unai Emery’s side thundering in with a €25m bid, per a report.
Aston Villa recently unveiled their second major signing of the summer, with Pau Torres joining Youri Tielemans at Villa Park.
With a centre-back and midfielder banked, attention is now turning to bolstering Emery’s forward line. With a Europa Conference League campaign on the horizon if the play-off round can be navigated, Villa must swell their ranks to ensure they can compete on two fronts.
To that end, L’Equipe claimed Aston Villa thundered in with a significant bid to sign Bayer Leverkusen’s wildly impressive Moussa Diaby. Elsewhere, reports from Italy state Emery is also lining up Charles De Ketelaere of AC Milan.
The Belgium international, 22, was a €35m signing from Club Brugge last summer. De Ketelaere – who can operate in a variety of central attacking roles – was heavily courted by Leeds Utd at the time.
However, the lure of joining one of Europe’s elite proved too good to turn down. Milan ultimately won the race despite Leeds offering a higher sum.
But fast forward to present day and De Ketelaere is reportedly up for sale on the back of two developments.
Firstly, he endured a truly torrid maiden campaign in Milan, notching zero goals and just one assist across 40 appearances. Secondly, Milan recently unveiled ex-Chelsea forward Christian Pulisic whose arrival will push De Ketelaere out.
That’s the view of Italian journalist Giovanni Capunao who reports De Ketelaere’s time at the San Siror “is over”.
West Ham previously emerged as a leading contender to give De Ketelaere a fresh opportunity. Birmingham Live namechecked the Hammers once again as being in the mix while giving their take on Villa and De Ketelaere.
But it’s Villa who have acted first and put West Ham on the spot by lodging a €25m bid. Per Capuano, the offer has been rejected, but the story won’t end there.
The reporter added the negotiations between Villa and Milan remains “open”. If the Hammers hold serious interest in signing the Belgian, now is the time to act.