According to French publication Le Quotidien Du Foot, Aston Villa are interested in midfielder Valentin Rongier.
As the Villains look to strengthen their squad ahead of a return to the Premier League they could face competition from the likes of Southampton and Lyon for his signature according to the report.
Rongier currently plays for Nantes in Ligue 1 so a move could be risky considering Jordan Veretout’s switch from the same club. In general, French players have been hit and miss when they’ve played for the Midlands club.
Veretout endured a tough period at Villa Park but if he manages to settle better at Villa Park, Rongier could prove to be a great asset.
At the moment Villa’s midfield is pretty settled and both John McGinn and Jack Grealish should be irremovable objects going into next term.
The pair of them were sensational in the middle of the park, providing a creative spark as well as finding the net at regular intervals.
Looking at Rongier’s stats, it’s easy to compare his all action nature to McGinn. The Scot is an engine in midfield, known for his tough tackling style but also his ability to pass the ball and find a teammate.
In the play-off final he was everywhere as he put in a man of the match display. Villa’s latest target boasts similar traits, however.
The two players are productive when dropping from deep and bringing the ball forward too, something that’s particularly evident in the number of long balls they play.
After signing the likes of Yacouba Sylla and Veretout a number of years ago, Villa do need to be careful when looking for players in the French market.
However, some of the numbers Rongier has racked up throughout the last season are particularly impressive, so the temptation to swoop for him is more than understandable.
Whether he can eclipse McGinn remains to be seen but there are certainly signs that he may be able to match him.