Dyche ignites Everton pursuit of Aston Villa star, with not-so-secret weapon to help secure January deal

Aston Villa midfielders Youri Tielemans and Leander Dendoncker

Aston Villa midfielders Youri Tielemans and Leander Dendoncker

Everton have become receptive to the idea of signing Leander Dendoncker from Aston Villa during the January transfer window, a report has claimed.

Dendoncker’s future at Aston Villa has been in doubt for a few months, despite him only joining the club from Wolves in September 2022. Towards the end of the Turkish transfer window this year, he was a target for Fenerbahce.

Since then, he has not received too many opportunities to play. Three of his four Premier League appearances so far this season have lasted for just one minute; the other lasted for four.

Therefore, it was revealed earlier this month that Unai Emery would let Dendoncker leave Aston Villa in January, either on loan or permanently.

It later emerged that the midfielder would be keen to stay in the Premier League if possible. Now, he might just get what he wishes for.

The only domestic match Dendoncker has started for Aston Villa this season was in the Carabao Cup against Everton, who have now been named by Football Insider as contenders for his signature in the next transfer window.

According to the report, Sean Dyche rates Dendoncker and would welcome him into his Everton squad, since he is after a new defensive midfielder.

The manager might not even be the most important factor, though, since Everton’s director of football is Kevin Thelwell, who signed Dendoncker for Wolves back in 2018.

It is not yet clear how much Everton might have to pay in order to prise Dendoncker away from Aston Villa, where he remains under contract until 2026.

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During his time with Aston Villa, Dendoncker has made 29 appearances. However, the manager who was in charge when they signed him, Steven Gerrard, was replaced by Unai Emery just a few months into their collaboration.

It quickly reduced the stability of Dendoncker’s situation at Aston Villa, even if Emery has inspired the club to greater success as a whole.

Could Dendoncker join Everton?

Now, the 28-year-old will be considering his next step and the prospect of finding a new club in January.

His personal stance on Everton as a destination – and the task of fighting in a relegation battle following their 10-point deduction – is yet to be determined.

Everton already picked up one of Dendoncker’s former teammates in the summer when they acquired Ashley Young on a free transfer at the end of his Aston Villa contract.

If he says yes to a move to Everton and the clubs agree a deal, Dendoncker could become the second Belgian midfielder in their squad, alongside Amadou Onana.

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