The Athletic journalist Gregg Evans has named one position Aston Villa will hope to fill with a new signing before the transfer window closes.
So much of this summer has focused on the one outgoing player at Villa – in Jack Grealish signing for Manchester City – but it is now time for Villa to replenish their squad.
Of course, they have already spent a fair amount on a number of other high-profile signings this summer, such as Danny Ings, Leon Bailey and Emiliano Buendia.
But Evans has revealed that manager Dean Smith wants to focus on one position in particular while he still has the chance.
Speaking on the 1874 podcast, Evans said: “It’s my understanding that Smith definitely wants a holding midfielder. Whether he gets one this window remains to be seen.”
He then added that one potential target may be out of reach: “Villa bid £25m for James Ward-Prowse. I believe they were willing to go a little bit higher as well, but it just doesn’t feel like they’re going to get that deal done. Southampton just aren’t interested in selling.”
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It looks like they’ll be disappointed if Evans is right about Southampton not wanting to sell another one of their star players to the Villans, having already taken Ings off their hands.
One alternative to Ward-Prowse, however, could be Cheick Doucoure. The Lens midfielder has been linked with a move to the Midlands and could be on the market for around £12.7m.
So perhaps Smith’s hopes of adding further to the squad are not exactly dead in the water, and with a few weeks of the window remaining, now doesn’t seem to be a time to give up on the holding midfielder he supposedly craves.