Aston Villa have been handed a major boost in the race to sign Milot Rashica, after Bayer Leverkusen’s sporting director, Simon Rolfes, played down a potential move for the winger.
Reports over the summer transfer window suggested that the Kosovo international was a key target for Villa as they looked ahead to their second season back in the Premier League.
It was claimed that after initially wanting to stay in the Bundesliga, the £16.2m-rated Rashica had a change of heart and was open to a move to the Premier League and join Villa, with Dean Smith’s side ready to cough up big money.
And with reports in recent weeks claiming that Villa are contemplating reigniting their interest in the forward in January, they were given a significant boost when one of their rivals for his signature, Leverkusen appeared to pour cold water over a move.
Rolfes said: “That was a consideration in the summer, especially because of the many games in the autumn. In the winter we will re-evaluate it but at the moment he is not an issue.”
With Leverkusen seemingly bowing out of the race for Rashica, Villa may well have an open road to luring him to the Premier League in the upcoming January transfer window.
The 24-year-old has struggled with injury problems this season, making just five appearances, but when he is fit and firing, he is an explosive attacker who could bring yet more pace and dynamism to Villa’s attack.
It seems like a no-brainer for Villa to go after him next month. Johan Lange must surely be licking his lips.