Aston Villa expressed interest in Brighton midfielder Yves Bissouma.

Bissouma is in the last 18 months of his contract and is open to a move away.

Villa have Marvelous Nakamba injured for three months while Douglas Luiz is approaching the final 18 months of his contract.

Bissouma is currently on duty with Mali at the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon and his performances in the winter tournament will only increase speculation over his future back in England.

The 25-year-old midfielder joined Brighton in 2018 from LOSC Lille and has been a revelation on the south coast.

He has played more than 100 games for the Seagulls and has found himself on the radar of top sides including Liverpool.

Villa’s interest in Bissouma comes as Gerrard looks to stamp his mark on a side he inherited mid-season from Dean Smith following his sacking.

Villa are currently 13th in the league but Gerrard is ambitious and wants to build a side that can challenge for Europe.

Bissouma would provide stability in the centre of the park to allow players like Coutinho the freedom to attack at will.

Villa also have an interest in Bologna left-back Aaron Hickey and Everton’s Lucas Digne, who remains an option for West Ham.

Everton boss Rafa Benitez confirmed on Friday that Digne has told him he wants to leave Goodison Park this month following a fall-out.

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