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Aston Villa have been reported to have made a surprise bid for Merseille midfielder Matteo Guendouzi as manager Unai Emery has become keen to reunite with his former player.
Emery coached the holding midfielder at Arsenal, a club which saw the out of favor player permanently depart the Emirates last summer. The midfielder appeared on 82 occasions for the Gunners before he was sent out on loan to Hertha Berlin and then Merseille before leaving for the French side.
Guendouzi’s Form at Merseille
Guendouzi has impressed in Ligue 1 since joining Merseille and appeared for France at the World Cup in Qatar last month. The 23-year old has long been admired by Emery and now the Spaniard has made a move to bring him back to the Premier League.
However, it could some convincing from Emery and Aston Villa to make an agreement with Merseille to release one of their star players. With Guendouzi leading their midfield, the Olympians recently lost out on a place in the knock-out stages of the Champions League after they were defeated by Tottenham Hotspur.
The side are currently third in Ligue 1 and have recorded just three losses in 17 league games so far this season.
Merseille have already seen Gerson depart and it could take a lot of cash for Igor Tudor’s side to release Guendouzi, who is valued at around 26.5 million pounds according to the Daily Mail.
The French side have been linked with Angers’ Moroccan star Azzedine Ounahi and could make the Guendouzi sale in order to secure the services of Ounahi.
Emery is looking to sign the French man in order to significantly strengthen Villa’s midfield. Guendouzi could provide an anchor in the center of the field for the side as they look to climb back up the table.
The Villains currently sit comfortably in 11th place with 22 points, three points off Chelsea above them. After spending significantly over the last few seasons, Villa will be looking to challenge for the Europa League in the second half of this season and Emery will be under pressure to deliver.
The manager is an expert in the Europa League, winning the title with Spanish sides on several occasions. He replaced Steven Gerrard earlier this season in October as the Villains blundered in very poor form.
Villa Signings in January
Emery’s first signing of the window went through on Thursday 12th January, when Villa signed Spanish left back Alex Moreno from Real Betis. The 29-year old is rumored to have made the switch from La Liga to the Premier League for a fee of 13 million pounds.
The fullback has made 122 appearances for Betis, netting six goals and providing 14 assists in his time at the side.
Aston Villa could well make further additions even if Guendouzi is signed as Emery really looks to mold the team to his liking in his first transfer window at the side.
The side face Leeds United on Friday at Villa Park, where they will be favorites to win against a Leeds team struggling for wins this season. A recent rivalry has ignited between the clubs and a win for Emery’s side would be a big hit with Villa fans.