Aston Villa ‘eye’ Premier League ace with £50m transfer budget

Steven Gerrard has made a two-man midfield shortlist ahead of the summer.

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Aston Villa enjoyed a brilliant January transfer window and are hoping to continue their business in the summer with their reported £50 million budget, according to the Daily Star.

Villa made impressive signings in the likes of Philippe Coutinho and Lucas Digne but failed to bring in a central midfielder, missing out on Rodrigo Bentancur to Tottenham.

Steven Gerrard will now look to secure a midfield signing in the summer and the Daily Star claim he has put together a two-man shortlist to bolster his squad containing Yves Bissouma and Wilfred Ndidi.

Villa have been interested in Brighton & Hove Albion’s Bissouma for a while now, but Ndidi is a new name on their list of targets.

The Nigerian joined Leicester City in a £17 million deal five years ago and has been one of their key players as they have become one of the Premier League’s most threatening sides.

Ndidi has previously been linked with the likes of Manchester United and Liverpool and Villa are now the latest side to consider an ambitious move for the midfielder.

It is unclear how much the 25-year-old would cost Villa, but their £50 million transfer budget would certainly go a long way in luring him to Birmingham.

Ndidi signed a bumper new six-year deal with Leicester in 2018, however the Foxes are struggling this season and find themselves in the bottom half of the table.

A campaign without European football may tempt Ndidi to depart the King Power Stadium - however this could also prove to be a stumbling block in Villa’s pursuit of the midfielder too.

Meanwhile, the West Midlands club remain in the race to sign Bissouma after they saw a £30 million bid rejected for the Seagulls star last month.

Bissouma is a target for a number of Premier League clubs including Arsenal and Manchester United.

Brighton value the Mali international at £45 million and Aston Villa will have to prepare for a bidding war if they are to pursue a move.