Transfer

Aston Villa set to prioritise signing £2k-p/w gem Emery is a massive fan of

Aston Villa have reportedly made a player from the fifth-tier of France a “priority” signing this summer in an intriguing twist as Unai Emery’s eye for talent strikes again.

Villa planning for the present and the future

After qualifying for the Champions League for the first time in its current guise, Villa have no plans to go anywhere and are already looking ahead to the new campaign. They are in talks with Luton Town over a move for Ross Barkley, who spent a season on loan at the Midlands club previously, helping them secure Premier League survival. That deal is believed to be in the closing stages despite late Everton interest, and he is likely to become their first summer signing.


Ross Barkley for Luton Town

The 30-year-old is likely to be joined by plenty more experienced faces, with the likes of Mario Hermoso, Conor Gallagher, Wilfried Ndidi and Youssef En-Nesyri all among those linked with a move to Villa Park this summer.

But there is also a desire to sign younger talents in a bid to produce the next big thing, as recent arrivals have shown. In January, they signed exclusively players 23 and under, while they added two talented teenagers to their ranks.

Aston Villa’s January business

Player

Age

Fee

Morgan Rodgers

21

£8m

Lino Sousa

19

Unknown

Kosta Nedeljkovic

18

£6.5m

Joe Gauci

23

Unknown

12 months earlier, they had gambled on young talent Jhon Duran, who proved a useful deputy to Ollie Watkins when called upon and is even reportedly interesting Chelsea.

Emery has a clear eye for talent too; during his time at Arsenal he handed debuts to Gabriel Martinelli, Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka, and while at Paris Saint Germain he oversaw Presnel Kimpembe’s rise to prominence (though he had already made ten appearances when the Spaniard arrived). Now, he looks set to try and sign the next young star.

Emery pushing move for teenage star

That comes as reports in France have revealed that Unai Emery has had his eye caught by Rennes young talent Mathis Lambourde. The 18-year-old centre-forward has appeared on three occasions for the senior team but has spent virtually the entire season playing for the Rennes 2nd string side, which plays football in France’s fifth tier.

During that time, he has found the net three times in nine appearances, while he has also scored nine times in 15 France U17 outings, though he is yet to grab his first U18 goal after five attempts.

Related

Club need quick sale as Monchi spearheads Aston Villa move for £50k-p/w man

It could all move very fast now at Villa Park.

Despite this, it appears that Villa are keen, with the report claiming that they have made his signature a “priority” this summer. No fee is mentioned, but Lambourde still has two years left to run on his £2,000 a week deal in France, meaning that they are under little pressure to part way with the teenage talent this summer unless an offer too good to refuse is tabled.

But if Aston Villa really have been “seduced” by the teenager’s ability, a deal may well be forthcoming sooner rather than later.

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