Aston Villa in ‘late hijack’ for Leeds United and Leicester transfer target, agent ‘in talks’

Latest transfer news as Aston Villa try a late ‘hijack’ for a Leeds United and Leicester City target, as a Weston McKennie alternative is found.
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Aston Villa are reportedly trying to swoop in for Leeds United transfer target Azzedine Ounahi, hijacking any potential deal the Lilywhites have been attempting. The midfielder’s agent is said to be in England for discussions with clubs amid interest from the likes of Villa, Leeds and Leicester City.

Making a breakthrough at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, Ounahi was a key player in the centre of the park for surprise package Morocco, who became the first African side to reach the semi-finals of the competition. Rather unsurprisingly, Ounahi, of Angers, has since gained plenty of attention from some of the biggest clubs in Europe, including Paris Saint-Germain and Napoli.

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As relayed by Tutto Napoli, Italian journalist Ciro Venerato told Tg Sport: These are decisive days for the Moroccan midfielder. The president of Angers left for England yesterday [Monday] and it seems that he is talking to Aston Villa who received a no from the Juventus player, [Weston] McKennie, two days ago, more than Leeds.”

Jesse Marsch’s side have been favourites for Ounahi’s signature for the best part of the week as 90min reported on Monday that Leeds have been “pushing hard to agree terms” with Angers. The Whites are said to have offered €25 million (£22 million) but the Ligue 1 team are holding out for €30 million (£26.4 million).

Azzedine Ounahi was one of Morocco’s best players at the World Cup.Azzedine Ounahi was one of Morocco’s best players at the World Cup.
Azzedine Ounahi was one of Morocco’s best players at the World Cup.

Unai Emery remains eager to bring in a new midfielder this month and with Weston McKennie reportedly rejecting a move to Villa Park, as well as the rumours of interest in Matteo Guendouzi cooling, Ounahi could be the solution. If the Villans were to match Angers’ asking price, they could well move ahead of Leeds as the Moroccan’s most likely destination.

The 22-year-old, who is yet to reach his full potential, has made 48 appearances for Angers since signing from US Avranches in 2021. His market value has rocketed since his World Cup success as it is now far, far higher than the mere €350,000 Angers paid for his services. Ounahi, who can play as a defensive midfielder, a number six, or a 10, has played 17 times for Morocco.

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