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Aston Villa: Ashley Preece says Steven Gerrard will accelerate midfielder pursuit

Aston Villa: Ashley Preece says Steven Gerrard will accelerate midfielder pursuit -Aston Villa News

Aston Villa are set to step up their efforts to sign a new midfielder after Carney Chukwuemeka left for Chelsea, The Birmingham Mail’s Ashley Preece says

The lowdown

Villa have spent a shade under £50million on five signings so far this summer – centre-back Diego Carlos, left-back Ludwig Augustinsson, playmaker Philippe Coutinho, goalkeeper Robin Olsen and midfielder Boubacar Kamara.

But Gerrard clearly isn’t satisfied yet, targeting more bodies in the middle of the park even after landing Kamara.

That could be because the Frenchman is a no. 6, and he still feels the team needs more of a box-to-box no. 8.

It was confirmed on Thursday that 18-year-old Chukwuemeka, one of their options in that role, has sealed his move to Stamford Bridge, netting Villa £20million.

The latest

In various answers over the course of a fan forum, Preece provided a comprehensive update on Villa’s midfield pursuit.

He told one supporter that a ‘new midfielder should be next’ through the door ‘following CC exit’.

Another was assured that the ‘midfield search will now accelerate’, ‘100 percent’, as Villa ‘look to fill Carney’s void’ after his ‘really quick’ move.

‘Lange has been given his remit’ already, with Gerrard requesting reinforcements ‘last month’.

Villa are ‘very good at keeping business under wraps’, and so he doesn’t know exactly who they will move for, but he does believe Ibrahim Sangare of PSV Eindhoven ‘is more likely than [Youri] Tielemans’ of Leicester City.

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The verdict

Securing a deal for a player like Sangare between now and September could cap off the window nicely for Villa.

Capable of playing at the base of midfield or in a slightly more advanced role, he would offer Gerrard versatility in addition to his quality.

The 42-year-old is clearly an admirer, with Voetbal International in the Netherlands reporting earlier this year that he scouted him in a Europa Conference League quarterfinal against Leicester.

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Significantly, the player has a £30million release clause in his contract too, enabling Villa to bypass negotiations with PSV.

While this would increase Villa’s summer outlay by more than 60%, it’s arguably worth it for a player billed ‘extraordinary‘ by former Eindhoven manager Aad de Mos.

Indeed, he made more tackles and interceptions combined (169) than any other player in last season’s Eredivisie despite starting only 26 out of a possible 34 matches (via WhoScored).

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