Aston Villa want to accelerate striker’s transfer decision after drawing up plans for 55-goal Ligue 1 star
Aston Villa are aiming to persuade Moussa Dembele to join them in January after eyeing a deal for the Lyon striker, according to reports in France.
It has not been an easy start to the season for Aston Villa, despite what looked like another productive summer transfer window. They find themselves 14th in the Premier League after eight games.
Only Wolves and West Ham have scored fewer goals than them in the competition so far. Therefore, it does not take too much guessing as to where their focus might be in the January transfer window.
As reported by Jeunes Footeux, finding a new striker is high on Steven Gerrard’s wish list. Currently, he is relying on Ollie Watkins and Danny Ings mainly.
Last season, Watkins got 11 goals in the Premier League and Ings managed seven. To reach the next level, they might have to find a centre-forward who scores more frequently.
With that in mind, Jeunes Footeux reports that Aston Villa have set their sights on signing Lyon striker Moussa Dembele in January.
Dembele, of course, is no stranger to British football. He began his senior career with Fulham before moving north of the border and flourishing with Celtic.
Since leaving the Scottish side in 2018, Dembele has amassed 55 Ligue 1 goals for Lyon, from 112 appearances. His form has often seen him linked with a return to the Premier League.
Now, Aston Villa are establishing themselves as candidates for his transfer, if Jeunes Footeux is to be believed.
However, one difficulty they could face – the report warns – is that Dembele wants to wait until he becomes a free agent in June before picking his next club.
Aston Villa want to address their attacking issues more quickly than that. Their plan is supposedly to make an attempt to buy him from Lyon in January.
It might be beneficial for the French club, too. They would be able to get a fee (albeit a minimal one) for Dembele rather than losing him for nothing.
Yet Dembele would still have to give his approval to a transfer, which might take some work.
It remains to be seen if he might attract some bigger clubs, or at least ones with European football on offer, if he bides his time.
Moussa Dembele would be exciting for Aston Villa – but alternatives must be kept in mind
For Aston Villa, bringing in a top-level striker in January might make the difference for their ambitions this season.
Watkins has done well for them in the past, while Ings was good for Southampton, which prompted them to buy him.
But Aston Villa are a club who want to strive towards the top half of the table. They might need to find an upgrade in order to cross that particular line.
They have already gone about strengthening in other areas of the pitch, with mixed success. Their attack is the next area on the agenda.
Dembele would be an exciting option, given his pedigree for a club who would usually be in Europe (albeit not this season), and it would also be interesting to see how he would get on in the Premier League and how much he has progressed since his time with Fulham.
But the former Atletico Madrid loanee might have more to consider than just Aston Villa. He is definitely someone for them to keep tabs on, although they might have to cast their net wider if he is not on board with their plan for the winter window.
READ MORE: Steven Gerrard targeting Rangers contract rebel with Leeds to challenge Villa for mercurial star