Aston Villa have been watching Bordeaux attacking midfielder Mehdi Zerkane closely and could make a bid this summer, according to reports.
Villa are preparing for the summer transfer window, which will give a glimpse into their ambitions for next season. They started this season strongly but their form has dropped off and they will finish in mid-table. But with a couple of adjustments to their squad, they could be more competitive again.
One area they are looking to strengthen is in attacking midfield, to reduce the burden on Jack Grealish. Their slide down the table this season largely coincided with when he was injured, so they need better cover.
According to L’Equipe, Villa will now try to sign Zerkane from Bordeaux.
The 21-year-old, who often plays as a winger, has played 26 times in Ligue 1 this season, including 15 starts. He has provided one goal and one assist from his debut top-flight campaign.
That goal came in his most recent appearance, when he came on as a substitute in a 3-0 win over Lens. The French outlet claims Villa scouts were in attendance as they continue to monitor him.
They have been keeping tabs on Zerkane for around three months, and his latest exploits seem to have convinced them to make a move.
The one-cap Algeria international is still under contract until 2024, but Villa are confident enough that they can tempt Bordeaux into selling Zerkane this summer.
It is not yet clear how much they might have to pay for him. But it seems he would be an investment for the future who could also contribute something in the present.
Plenty of interest in Grealish
Villa might find themselves not just needing cover for Grealish this summer, but a replacement for him. The England international is attracting interest from other clubs.
He signed a big contract until 2025 last year but vultures are circling again. For example, Manchester United remain interested, according to reports.
He told SNTV: “The truth is we don’t know [what will happen].
“There are many clubs [interested] and I wouldn’t put Manchester United at the top of that [list].
“But he could stay.
“He could stay as well so it’s a conversation the club, Aston Villa, will have with Jack and ourselves then we’ll see where we go.”