Fabrizio Romano has raised the possibility that Aston Villa’s Anwar El Ghazi could be included in a deal to sign Lucas Digne.
According to the Italian journalist via Twitter, the Villans have been ‘working for days’ to agree a deal for the Everton left-back, whose future appears to lie away from Goodison Park after he had a row with Rafael Benitez and the Toffees went into the market to sign a £17m left-back in Vitaliy Mykolenko.
Meanwhile, El Ghazi – who joined Aston Villa permanently from Lille in 2019 after an initial loan spell – is into the final 18 months of his £31k-a-week contract. Transfermarkt value the Dutch winger at £9m.
Taking to Twitter to reveal the latest on the future of the two players, Romano outlined: “Aston Villa have been working for days to sign Lucas Digne. They’ve always been frontrunners – Chelsea out of the race.
“Talks on, not 100% agreed yet between clubs. El Ghazi also been discussed – nothing agreed on this point as Everton want cash. Next week will be key.”
Is it a surprise that Villa are considering parting with El Ghazi?
Based on last season, yes. He was the club’s second-top goalscorer with an impressive 13 strikes in all competitions, inferior only to Ollie Watkins (17). Such form led to ex-Villa defender Alan Hutton praising him as “unstoppable“.
Steven Gerrard doesn’t seem to be convinced, though. Since the 41-year-old took over from Dean Smith in November, El Ghazi has only played 33 minutes of Premier League football.
On another note, having signed two wide attacking players last summer in Andros Townsend and Demarai Gray, will Benitez really want another at Everton in January? According to The Daily Mail, he’s more focused on strengthening in central midfield and up front.
In truth, El Ghazi may not be an effective bargaining chip from Villa if they want to execute a deal to sign Digne.
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