Aston Villa have been dealt a frustrating transfer blow, with the news that former target, Harold Moukoudi is set to sign for French side, St Etienne.
Le Parisien have reported that the Le Havre defender has agreed a four-year-deal with St Etienne, with his contract set to expire at the conclusion of this year’s campaign.
France Football had claimed that West Ham were also thought to be interested in agreeing a deal with Moukoudi.
Moukoudi had previously told France Bleu that he turned down a deal to Villa Park, as he thought that he wouldn’t fit in with Steve Bruce’s direct style of play.
But he would have certainly suited the possession-based style of football under Dean Smith, so his reported decision to join St Etienne, will come as a frustrating update.
The 21-year-old evidently has a bright future ahead of him, and the Villans could be left to rue their decision not to sign him before the end of this season.
Aston Villa could certainly have benefitted from having additional depth in defensive areas for next season, and Dean Smith will have to find an alternative after this latest update.
But for now, Villa will be fully focused on their promotion bid this season, with Smith’s side currently occupying a play-off spot with just seven league games remaining.
This will be frustrating for Aston Villa.
Moukoudi has been a long-term target for the Villans and there will have been hopes that they could strike a deal with the in-demand defender.
Dean Smith will have to put this behind him and find an alternative at the earliest of opportunities.