Aston Villa are eyeing a summer transfer move for Celtic striker Odsonne Edouard, but are battling some Premier League rivals to land his signature.
Reports last summer suggested that Dean Smith’s side were very much keen on signing the Frenchman, but a deal failed to materialise before the end of the deadline.
Now, The Scottish Daily Mail (26/02, back page) via HITC, claim that Villa remain keen on luring Edouard away from Celtic Park, but are likely to face significant competition from the likes of Arsenal and Leicester.
The report adds that it’s the Foxes, and Serie A giants AS Roma, who are currently leading the race for his signing.
Amid a Premier League season in which Smith has had to sit in the dugout hoping Ollie Watkins can stay injury-free, news of a renewed attempt at signing Edouard will surely have the Villa boss buzzing.
To his credit, Watkins has been a revelation since joining from Championship side Brentford, bagging 12 goals in all competitions in his debut campaign in the top-flight.
The one problem for Smith has been the lack of genuine options to replace him, with Watkins having not missed a single minute of Premier League football all season. That’s been down to Wesley still working his way back from a knee injury, and Keinan Davis clearly not deemed as someone worth playing regularly – after all, he’s managed just five goals in 75 club games.
In Edouard, Villa would land themselves someone who’s been incredibly prolific in his fledgeling career. As well as bagging 20 goals in just 32 games this season – and that too for a Celtic side in turmoil and way off the pace behind Rangers – he’s scored 82 goals in 177 senior games in total.
His former boss at Celtic, Neil Lennon, said earlier in 2020: “He’s hugely important (to us), he’s an outstanding footballer, talismanic almost, he’s so talented, so cool and he had two great finishes. He’s up there with some of the best we’ve had over the last 20 odd years.”
It’s no surprise Johan Lange is targeting Edouard again, and it will surely be music to the ears of Smith.