Aston Villa are reportedly keeping tabs on Norwegian wing-back Omar Elabdellaoui, according to the Daily Mail.
The Olympiacos defender, who spent two years at Manchester City between 2011-2013, is allegedly being watched by five Premier League sides – Villa, Burnley, Watford, Leicester and Bournemouth.
Elabdellaoui’s current deal in Greece expires next summer, meaning that any club wishing to sign him would be able to pick him up on a free transfer at the end of the campaign.
Prospective clubs could also get the Norwegian to sign a pre-contract agreement in January, securing his transfer six months in advance.
Interest among potential suitors in England has gained momentum of late, after Elabdellaoui’s turned in another impressive performance for Norway during their 1-1 draw against Spain on Friday evening, where he was awarded an overall rating of 7.3/10 for his efforts by WhoScored.
The right-back, who is also adept to playing on the right-hand side of midfield, won the penalty which Bournemouth’s Joshua King converted to level things for the Scandinavians on the 93rd minute.
The Daily Mail report that both Crystal Palace and Celtic tried to sign Elabdellaoui in the summer, but Olympiacos were not prepared to let him leave.
However, once his contract expires next summer the 27-year-old will be free to walk out of the club, potentially to Aston Villa, who could be on the lookout for a dynamic new full-back to replace the ageing Ahmed Elmohamady, whose contract expires in 2021 (via Transfermarkt).
Elabdellaoui represents a great opportunity to any club wishing to acquire a versatile footballer in his prime.
Available on a free transfer next summer, if Aston Villa can secure his signature on a pre-contract agreement in January then it would be viewed as fantastic business considering his experience at both club and international level.
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