Aston Villa in talks over seven-figure transfer of tough-tackling enforcer

According to reports from Sky Sports, Marseille are in transfer talks with Aston Villa after activating Idrissa Gueye’s £7.1million release clause.

No Villa player can hold their head high after last season but the Senegal international was amongst the better of a bad bunch as the Birmingham outfit plummeted out of the Premier League.

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Indeed, the defensive midfielder actually averaged the second-most tackles and interceptions per match, 4.2 and four respectively, of any player in the top flight last term – trumped on both accounts by Leicester City’s title-winning enforcer N’Golo Kante.

But fresh managerial appointment Roberto Di Matteo is administering an overhaul of the Villians’ first team squad and it appears Gueye is set to move on after Marseille activated his £7.1million release clause.

The expected move will see the former Lille star move back to Ligue 1, where he previously made 134 outings for the Stade Pierre-Mauroy outfit after rising through their youth system.