According to Football Insider, Burnley are preparing to make the first move for Aston Villa transfer target Josh King.
Reports over the course of the summer transfer window, and in recent weeks too, have suggested that Dean Smith’s side are very much interested in the Bournemouth forward.
But now, Football Insider claim that it’s Villa’s fellow Premier League side Burnley who are putting in motion a plan to lure him away from the Vitality Stadium, offering Matej Vydra in a part-exchange deal.
The report adds that Vydra is seen as a potential sweetener in a cash-plus-player deal for King, and that Bournemouth would rather sell King for a transfer fee now, than lose him on a free transfer in the summer when his contract expires.
After months and months of speculation that Villa have got their eyes set on King, for Johan Lange to allow Burnley to swoop in at the last minute and strike a deal for the Norwegian from right under their noses would be a complete travesty.
Able to play all across the front-line and with bags of Premier League experience in his time at Bournemouth, King’s the kind of proven attacking option that would be able to hit the ground running for Smith in the second-half of the season – he’d scored 48 goals in 161 games in the competition before the Cherries’ relegation last season.
Ollie Watkins just seems to have hit an understandable brick wall in terms of his recent form, not scoring a single Premier League goal in his last nine games. Given he had never played top-flight football before this season, and the fact he’s had to play week-in and week-out with the likes of Wesley being out injured, it’s no surprise the striker’s form has tailed off massively.
Bringing King in would allow Smith to rest his summer signing or even make a tactical tweak where the two of them could even play together, but, at the very least, it would ease the goal-scoring burden on the 25-year-old.
Described as a “complete package” by former Cherries boss Eddie Howe, the 51-cap King is exactly what Villa need. Burnley’s late involvement in the race has left them facing a transfer nightmare however, and it desperately needs Lange to strike now.