According to French newspaper L’Equipe, via the Birmingham Mail, Aston Villa and Leeds United are battling it out for Lille winger Anwar El Ghazi, but Villa must beat the West Yorkshire side to his signature.
Villa have enjoyed a good start to the season under Steve Bruce, winning their first two league games before the 1-1 draw with Ipswich on Saturday.
The club plunged into huge financial difficulties during the summer after losing the playoff final and failing to secure promotion to the Premier League. However, just as it was looking like the club would have to offload its prized asset Jack Grealish in order to pay the taxes owed to HMRC, Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens bought a controlling stake in the club and kept hold of their star players.
Leeds have also had a fantastic start to the season, with new boss Marcelo Bielsa getting his players to follow the high-intensity, high-pressure system that he is known across the footballing world for.
The Whites have already signed young Manchester City winger Jack Harrison on loan this summer though and as such, it is Villa who are more in need of El Ghazi.
At 23 years old El Ghazi is a full Netherlands international and the Birmingham Mail reports that cash-strapped Lille are looking to sell, but that French sides Rennes and Saint-Etienne have also made approaches for the player who would be an even better addition than Yannick Bolasie, who Bruce is also reportedly in talks with.
Playing on either wing or as a central striker, El Ghazi netted four goals and provided four assists in 27 Ligue 1 appearances during his first season in France following a move from Ajax.
Bruce was able to bring in four new signings this summer despite the problems, but a winger is a priority. El Ghazi’s agent is Gestifute’s Jorge Mendes, who has already helped the club sign Portuguese goalkeeper Andre Moreira from Atletico Madrid on loan, and Bruce will be hoping he gets further favours from the super agent.