Tuesday, June 18, 2024
HomePremier LeagueAston Villa identify potential Diaby alternative

Aston Villa identify potential Diaby alternative

Aston Villa have identified Rennes winger Jeremy Doku as an alternative if the club fail in their bid to sign Bayer Leverkusen’s Moussa Diaby.

Unai Emery’s side have seen an opening bid of €35m turned down by Leverkusen for Diaby, as Villa look to beat competition from Premier League rivals Arsenal and Newcastle to the signing of the France international.

 

Villa are expected to return with an improved offer, but Fabrizio Romano is reporting that a deal for Doku is being explored as a potential alternative.

The 21-year-old has made 90 appearances across three seasons at Rennes, having signed for the Ligue 1 side from Anderlecht. Doku scored six league goals during a career-best campaign last term and has earned 14 caps for the Belgium national side since his debut in 2020.

Southampton failed in a bid to sign the winger during the January transfer window, while Liverpool have been credited as long-term admirers. Doku’s father, David, revealed how a number of English clubs made approaches to sign Doku from Anderlecht as a teenager.

“At the age of sixteen Jeremy could sign a pro contract with Anderlecht, but even then Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea, Man City, Ajax and PSV were interested,” Doku’s parents told Het Niewsblad, as per the Birmingham Mail.

“We then visited clubs like Liverpool and Ajax, but Stellar Group left us the choice. My preference was Liverpool. How we were received there, damn.

“Trainer Klopp explained how he saw a potential successor to Sadio Mane in Jeremy. Steven Gerrard showed us videos with tactical analysis.

“At the training complex [Simon] Mignolet, [Sadio] Mane and [Georginio] Wijnaldum came to talk to us. Yet Jeremy was distracted by the talk. Liverpool panicked.”

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