Aston Villa close in on first January signing

Clermont midfielder Yacouba SyllaAston Villa are close to agreeing a deal for Clermont Foot midfielder Yacouba Sylla, according to reports from Sky Sports.

The Villains have endured a tough start to the Premier League campaign, with manager Paul Lambert putting his faith in youth.

Whist his current squad have looked impressive occasionally, a number of poor results have seen them sucked into a relegation battle.

With club captain Stiliyan Petrov out of action after being diagnosed with Leukaemia, the club’s midfield has been bereft of quality.

Lambert will attempt to to address this by pushing through a deal for Sylla, who will cost in the region of £1.7m.

Initially the ex-Norwich coach was thought to be chasing Moussa Sissoko in a bid to add some strength and energy to his engine room, but the Frenchman elected to join Newcastle.

Sylla, 22, could be the ideal alternative, and bring some steely resilience into the Villa Park side’s central midfield.

Having splashed £23m over the summer, Lambert’s hands have been tied in terms of spending this month, but it is believed that club owner Randy Lerner is willing to make funds available for a emergency purchases.

He has previously hinted that one or two signings could be made, but with the transfer deadline looming it is unclear as to whether the Midlanders will be able to add sufficiently to their squad.

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