Sky Bet Championship side Aston Villa may have just been handed a major boost in their quest to sign Le Havre defender Harold Moukoudi.
The 21-year old has been on Villa’s radar for quite some time, as the Frenchman flew over to Villa Park in the summer ahead of a reported £7million move, though the deal failed to materialise.
Reports in January claimed that the central defender was alerting interest from the likes of Villa, West Ham United, Borussia Dortmund and Sevilla, with his contract expiring in the summer.
But reports from France, via the Birmingham Mail, have surfaced once again, claiming that Moukoudi has been banished to the stands after refusing to sign a new deal with Le Havre.
The club’s president Vincent Volpe has demanded that Le Havre manager Oswald Tanchot drops his star player, as well as saying: “He will not play anymore. It will be dismissed until June. (This is) what we tried to avoid. I’m far from happy to find myself in this situation.”
If you are an Aston Villa right now, you have got to be urging the club to pursue the signature of the centre-half.
The 21-year old has emerged as one of the best defenders in the French second division, and so many high-profile teams were linked with him in January, suggesting how good he really is.
It’s no secret how much Villa have struggled in defence this term – Dean Smith’s men have conceded a staggering 57 goals in the league, with the West Midlands club sitting eight points off the play-off positions.
The West Midlands club have improved in defence since Tyrone Mings arrived on loan from AFC Bournemouth last month, but with the club recently being linked with Barnsley’s Liam Lindsay, it looks like Smith could be preparing for life without Mings in the summer.
Moukoudi is a strong, powerful, young centre-half, who could prove to be a very shrewd acquisition for Villa.