Aston Villa are now confident of signing Moussa Dembele from Lyon in a cut-price transfer this month. Boss Unai Emery has targeted the striker while he looks to replace Danny Ings.
That is according to Birmingham Live, which reports Aston Villa are in ongoing negotiations with Lyon over a fee for Dembele. The forward is out of contract at the Groupama Stadium this summer and is no longer their first choice. But Emery is confident in what he can offer.
Emery is determined to see Aston Villa sign an experienced forward to replace Ings before the mid-season sales shut. The Spaniard sanctioned the striker’s £12m, rising to £15m with add-ons, move to West Ham United on Friday. Ings is also now sidelined with a knee injury.
Ings suffered the blow during his debut under David Moyes against Everton on Saturday as a substitute. But he now faces the first weeks of a two-and-a-half-year contract being from the sidelines. Emery let the 30-year-old leave having only started him in one league fixture.
Aston Villa will now let Emery reinvest the cash raised from Ings’ sale and the Spaniard has eyes on Dembele’s transfer from Lyon. The Villans are also growing in confidence that the 26-year-old will return to England this month for as little as £5m with his contract expiring.
Dembele spent four years in England after leaving Paris Saint-Germain’s academy setup for Fulham’s in 2012. He would later move on to Celtic in 2016, who sold the striker to Lyon in 2018 for £20m. But the former France U21 star has never extended his £52k-a-week deal.
Emery now hopes that his contractual situation at the Groupama Stadium sees Les Gones let the Pontoise-born hitman leave on the cheap. But Media Foot has reported that Lyon still value Dembele at €8-10m (£7-9m). It also adds he wants €3.5m-a-year a (£59k-a/w) wage.
For that, Aston Villa would be securing the transfer of a striker in Dembele who has scored just twice over 16 games for Lyon this season. He has also only registered one assist across all competitions. But his Gones career haul features 69 goals and 19 assists in 160 outings.
Dembele also scored 51 and assisted 18 goals during 94 first-team appearances for Celtic. While his efforts in Glasgow captivated Kieran Tierney whilst the Arsenal full-back was also at Parkhead. The Scotland defender has previously hailed what the striker gave the Hoops.
“He is brilliant,” Tierney once said, via the Glasgow Times. “I remember one game where I fired a ball up to him and he took it on the chest and made a terrible ball from me look so simple. It actually finished up making me look good.”