According to French journalist Julien Maynard, Aston Villa are prepared to make an offer for Marseille midfielder Morgan Sanson.
Dean Smith’s side have enjoyed a superb start to the Premier League campaign, finding themselves eight points off fourth-placed Liverpool but with three games in hand on the reigning champions.
Now, it appears Villa are intent on taking another major step, with Maynard claiming that after following him for several months, the club are “preparing to make an offer” for Sanson in this January transfer window.
With reports in recent days and weeks claiming that Conor Hourihane could be set for a departure this month, it’s no surprise that Smith has set his sights on bringing in another central midfielder.
And in Sanson, they could find someone who could be the perfect partner for Brazilian lynch-pin Douglas Luiz.
The £18m-rated Sanson has been a crucial part of Marseille’s midfield over the past few seasons, and this campaign has been used as both a central midfielder and as a more advanced number ten.
The Frenchman is a creative force from the middle of the park, averaging 1.1 key passes per game and creating five official big chances in just 11 Ligue 1 games. Compare that to Luiz who’s averaged 0.8 key passes and created just one big chance in 14 Premier League matches.
Sanson could slot in alongside Luiz and become the creative heartbeat of Villa, letting the Brazilian do his job of winning the ball back from the opposition and then setting Smith’s side on their way going forward.
It would be a perfect blend of qualities, and ensure Villa have a genuinely class option as Hourihane’s potential replacement.