Aston Villa are leading the race to sign one of the Eredivisie’s most exciting talents, according to a report.
The Premier League side have enjoyed an impressive transfer window, spending £95million on just three players. Emi Buendia arrived for a club-record fee of £35m, while Danny Ings and Leon Bailey were both signed for £30m each.
The Villans have also brought Ashley Young and Axel Tuanzebe back to the club.
However, their spending might not be finished. Dean Smith is keen to land a new central midfielder who will be able to compete with the likes of John McGinn and Douglas Luiz.
They had a £25m bid for Saints captain James Ward-Prowse rejected in late July. Their pursuit of the England international is now over after he signed a new long-term deal at St Mary’s.
Villa also had two offers knocked back for Arsenal starlet Emile Smith Rowe, who was a more attacking option on their wish list.
Arsenal were intent on keeping the 21-year-old so they could build their attack around him and Bukayo Saka.
One player Villa could now turn to is Sparta Rotterdam’s Abdou Harroui.
According to Italian outlet TuttoMercatoWeb (via Daily Star), the two clubs are in talks over a transfer for the Dutch U21 international.
Villa were even pushing to get a deal over the line at the weekend, although it is now more likely to take place this week.
Harroui is a far cheaper alternative to Ward-Prowse and Smith Rowe. He recently entered the final 12 months of his contract and is unlikely to sign a new one.
That means Sparta Rotterdam will need to sell him this month or risk losing him on a free transfer next summer.
Harroui appeared 32 times in the Eredivisie last season, scoring six goals and contributing three assists.
His impressive displays helped Sparta Rotterdam to finish eighth in the table on 47 points.
Selling Harroui to the Premier League would give them a small amount of transfer funds to improve their squad.
Smith reacts as Aston Villa beat Newcastle
Villa picked up their first points of the new campaign on Saturday with a 2-0 victory over Newcastle.
Danny Ings scored a goal of the season contender and was joined on the scoresheet by Anwar El Ghazi.
The latter sent Freddie Woodman the wrong way from the penalty spot following a Jamaal Lascelles handball.
“We had to deal with balls in behind with their pace but a great finish from Danny Ings and a set-piece routine we worked on in pre-season,” Smith said. “That is what we brought Ings in for. Anwar El Ghazi is a very good penalty taker.”