Aston Villa ‘ready to pay’ £60m for ‘number one target’ and European defender on radar

Steven Gerrard’s first summer at Aston Villa is close to getting underway as key areas already identfied for improvement.
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Aston Villa’s first summer transfer window under Steven Gerrard is set to be one of the busiest in the club’s history as they look to edge closer to European football.

After showing early glimpses, with Coutinho, of how Gerrard’s contact book will come to good use for Villa in the transfer market, once this season comes to an end, work is set to get underway in recruiting for the next campaign.

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Currently sitting 15th in the Premier League on 36 points, Villa have endured a mixed season. After winning four of his opening six games in charge, Gerrard has struggled with injuries and has failed to locate his best 11 for the remainder of the season.

After easing past Brighton, Southampton and Leeds, Villa have suffered four straight defeats, leaving them only 11 points off the relegation zone.

They are by no means involved in a relegation battle, but an improved season will be vital come this time next year.

With that in mind, here is the latest rumours involving Aston Villa.

European battle for French ace

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Villa’s defensive midfielder slot has been a problem all season and recruiting a quality player to slot in during the summer is set to be one of the highest order.

According to Birmingham Live, Boubacar Kamara is set to be a player involved in a transfer saga including Aston Villa and some of the biggest clubs in the world. Atletico Madrid, AC Milan and Manchester United are said to be interested in the midfielder - whose contract expires this summer.

The report also claims that Gerrard watched the Marseille man in action against Nantes on Wednesday alongside sporting director Johan Lange and chief executive Christian Purslow.

£60m man ‘number one target’

Another midfielder linked with a move to Villa Park is Leeds United’s Kalvin Phillips. According to journalist Dean Jones [via GiveMeSport], the England international has been identified as the ‘number one target in that area of the field.’

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Phillips’ future has been speculated for some time now after the 26-year-old failed to agree terms with an extension at Leeds and The Times reported that Villa have ‘emerged as frontrunners’ and are ‘ready to pay’ £60m in order to bring him to the Midlands.

With West Ham United and Newcastle United keen, it’s also said that Villa are willing to offer him a £10m salary.

Koulibaly suited for the Midlands?

Villa have emerged as a shock destination for Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly, with the 30-year-old looking set for a move away from Italy with just over a year remaining on his deal.

It is claimed that Napoli could be open to selling Koulibaly and Italian outlet TMW have claimed that Villa will battle it out with Everton and Tottenham Hotspur for the Senegalese defender.

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The report reads: “Napoli have a real treasure at home and this is demonstrated by the many requests that the big names of Aurelio De Laurentiis’ club are receiving during these weeks. For Kalidou Koulibaly always the Toffees as well as Aston Villa and Tottenham.”

Gerrard is likely to want to freshen up his defensive line with Tyrone Mings, Ezri Konsa, Kortney Hause and Calum Chambers their options at the moment.

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