According to French journalist Manu Lonjon, Aston Villa are in talks to sign Clement Grenier in this summer transfer window.
Dean Smith’s side fought off relegation from the Premier League on the final day of last season, and have been boosted in recent days by the big-money signing of Brentford marksman Ollie Watkins.
Now, Lonjon claims that Villa’s attentions have now turned towards bringing in Stade Rennes midfielder Grenier, with there being an “ongoing discussion” with both the top-flight side and Porto.
The journalist claims that Turkish giants Galatasaray are also in the running to sign the £55k-a-week ace.
The key for Villa in this new upcoming season is whether they can find someone who can share the creative burden with talisman, Jack Grealish.
The club captain carried a heavy weight on his shoulders, being seen as the one to both score and create for the side – he finished the campaign with ten goals and eight assists across all competitions.
But in Grenier, Villa can find someone who has the ability to unlock defences from central midfield, and take up the role of being the side’s chief orchestrator from the middle of the park – he averaged an impressive 1.2 key passes and 51.5 touches per game for Rennes in Ligue 1 last season.
Back in his Lyon days, then manager Remi Garde – who Villa fans will of course be all too familiar with – expressed his admiration and love for the France international. He said: “He’s won over everyone. He’s done what was necessary to be at the heart of our project for years to come.What I said to him will stay between us, but when I highlight certain players who are no longer part of the project, that in no way applies to Clement. We’re going to do everything to keep him.”
It was no surprise that clubs like Arsenal and Newcastle were interested in luring him to English football several years ago, with then Magpies boss Alan Pardew even hailing him as someone with “tremendous creative technical ability”.
If Villa can finally bring him to the Premier League, they could have someone who can help Grealish flourish that little bit more.