Aston Villa, Southampton battle for €6m star to replace departing duo

Aston Villa could rival Southampton in their pursuit of Reims left-back Ghislain Konan, according to a report.

Both Villa and Saints are looking to strengthen in the full-back areas this summer. Neil Taylor and Ryan Bertrand will be out of contract at each club respectively next month. Hence, they will need to find reinforcements to replace them.

One name that both seem to be considering is Konan. According to the Daily Mail, the two clubs are interested in the Reims full-back, who has been a regular starter in Ligue 1 this season.

Konan has contributed two goals and one assist from 30 appearances in the French top flight. At the age of 25, he has a good amount of experience at a decent level and has also earned 11 caps for Ivory Coast.

What’s more, his price tag is well within range for Villa or Southampton. Reims would only be asking for a fee in the region of €6m (£5.1m).

Konan only has one year left on his contract and is now considering a move to the Premier League.

After leaving his homeland in 2016, he has had spells in Portugal and France. Now could be the time for another new challenge in a different league.

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Only time will tell who wins the race to sign him but Villa and Southampton seem to have strong interest due to the imminent departures of Taylor and Bertrand.

Sky Sports revealed earlier this month that Villa’s Taylor is attracting interest from Istanbul Basaksehir, as well as clubs in Qatar and Saudi Arabia. He is intrigued by the chance to play in a foreign country.

As for Southampton’s Bertrand, his departure from the club has been confirmed. Arsenal wanted him in January and remain keen. There have also been links with Manchester City, Leicester and AC Milan.

Villa looking to Ligue 1 for targets

In other news, Aston Villa have been watching Bordeaux attacking midfielder Mehdi Zerkane closely and could make a bid this summer, according to L’Equipe.

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.

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