The Lowdown: Kondogbia linked with Villa
NSWE have already made a head start on their summer business prior to Steven Gerrard’s first full season in charge by securing Phillipe Coutinho on a permanent deal.
The Villa manager wants a ‘specialist No.6’ and personally watched Kondogbia in action against Manchester City in the Champions League last month. Reports then suggested that NSWE were ‘very confident’ of getting a deal over the line and labelled the 29-year-old a ‘serious target’.
The Latest: Holland’s comments on Kondogbia
Speaking to GiveMeSport, Holland was asked about a number of midfielders who have been linked with a move to Villa Park, including Kondogbia, Ibrahim Sangare (PSV Eindhoven) and Boubacar Kamara (Marseille).
He described the Atletico powerhouse as a ‘veteran’ compared to Sangare and Kamara, saying that a holding midfielder is a ‘priority’ for Villa:
“Kondogbia, I think everyone knows his performances in the Champions League for years now have been noted.
“He’s a bit on the veteran side compared to the other two (Sangare and Kamara), but he’s done it at a higher level than obviously PSV and Marseille. So, I do think that a CDM was probably their priority.”
How many more signings do Villa need to make this summer?
The Verdict: What about Phillips or Bissouma?
It looks as if NSWE will back the manager by signing at least one holding midfielder this summer, and it appears that Villa have a long list of names for that position.
Gregg Evans stated that Leeds United’s Kalvin Phillips was one of the first names mentioned in transfer discussions with Gerrard, while Villa also had a bid rejected for Brighton’s Yves Bissouma in January.
They both have plenty of Premier League experience, so perhaps it would be wise to bring in either Phillips or Bissouma along with one of Kondogbia, Sangare and Kamara to provide Gerrard with three strong defensive midfield options alongside Marvelous Nakamba.
That’s because talks haven’t progressed with Douglas Luiz, and with his deal set to expire in just over 12 months’ time, he could end up moving on.
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