Aston Villa tried to sign Geoffrey Kondogbia in the final knockings of the summer transfer window, according to Spanish publication MARCA.
Villa made seven signings over the course of the window, spending a total of £63million, according to Transfermarkt.
They strengthened their midfield with deals for Boubacar Kamara (free transfer) and Leander Dendoncker (£13.5million).
Kondogbia, 29, was an unused substitute in Atletico Madrid’s first two La Liga matches, and only played the second half of their last game against Real Sociedad.
The report states that Aston Villa had long been on the trail of Kondogbia and launched ‘a lightning operation’ to land him at the end of the window.
They still want to sign a midfielder of his profile, despite their deals for Kamara and Dendoncker.
And they spied an opportunity to move for Kondogbia after Diego Simeone overlooked him in the first games of the season.
Unfortunately for Villa, there wasn’t enough time to iron out the issues and complete a deal.
Why might Villa still be interested in Kondogbia, despite signing two midfielders?
Well, Kondogbia has played the majority of his football up to this point as a CM, whereas Kamara and Dendoncker are classed as defensive midfielders, so Steven Gerrard may envisage him playing alongside one of the two.
What’s more, Douglas Luiz is out of contract at the end of the season and agreed personal terms with Arsenal during the window, indicating a desire to leave. Kondogbia, then, could potentially be his replacement from 2023 onwards.
Gerrard personally scouted him in last season’s Champions League quarterfinal against Manchester City, as per Birmingham Live, and seems to be a big fan.
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