Aston Villa to move for cut-price midfielder with Champions League quality

Morgan Sanson, Bernardo Silva

Reports in France claim Aston Villa are ready to firm up their interest in Marseille midfielder Morgan Sanson and will make an offer this month.

The Villans have been watching the 26-year-old for some time and have been impressed by what they have seen. The former France Under-21 ace has made nine starts from 11 Ligue 1 outings, scoring twice for L’OM.

But he has also seen plenty of action in the Champions League, featuring in all six of Marseille’s group games. That ended in failure, with just three points seeing the Stade Velodrome finish bottom and crash out of Europe.

However, the West Midlanders were able to see how he copes under pressure and seem convinced by his talent.

Telefoot journalist Julien Maynard feels Dean Smith is now looking to bring him to Villa Park in January. There is no word on whether he wants a permanent deal or would be happy with a loan.

Whether Les Phoceens are willing to let him go, only time will tell, as they are challenging for Europe. Andre Villas-Boas’ men sit seventh in the French top-flight standings but have games in hand on those above.

Sanson has been on the radar of other clubs, with Arsenal, Tottenham and West Ham all linked last summer. Back in March 2020, they reportedly lowered their asking price by £10m in order to facilitate a move.


They were under pressure to sell due to Financial Fair Play regulation but Sanson remained in the south of France. Villa were also thought to be keen in the summer but failed to make an offer.

That could all change now, with two weeks of the winter window remaining. He is under contract until 2022 and so the club may look to cash in while they can.

Villas-Boas has admitted that there is interest in Sanson from England and “something could happen” this month.

“We’ll see. The transfer window is open, Sanson is a player who is highly rated,” Villas-Boas said on Saturday after a match against Nimes. “Officially, we have not received any offers, unless it happened during the match.

“He is a boy who interests English teams because of his characteristics, and it is possible that something could happen.”

One in, one out

If Sanson does find his way to Villa, he may see Conor Hourihane leave through the exit door. The midfielder has been strongly linked with both Middlesbrough and Swansea City.

The 29-year-old has played little part in the club’s Premier League campaign this term, making just three starts from four appearances.

TEAMtalk exclusively revealed on Saturday that Boro and the Swans were keen and Villa are willing to let him leave. He was a regular in the team during Villa’s spell in the Championship.

But he has struggled for game time since their return to the big time.


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