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Aston Villa connected to two French internationals

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As the Christian Benteke story plods along, it seems as if Paul Lambert is already looking ahead.

Dino Panato

Rumours have been circulating online today that Aston Villa have been making inquiries into two French internationals currently playing for Lyon in Ligue 1. Apparently the club have made inquiries into the availability of Bafetimbi Gomis and Jimmy Briand, both members of the offense for the side that finished third in the top tier of French football last year. Neither player fits the standard profile of what we'd expect from a Paul Lambert transfer, as each is 27 years old and neither would come particularly cheaply.

Nevertheless, the connection is an interesting one. Gomis has been the more prolific of the two players, scoring 50 goals in 142 appearances for Lyon, including 16 in last year's campaign. That was enough to make him Ligue 1's 4th-best scorer. Briand, who spends most of his time as an attacking midfielder, only found the back of the net once in 15 appearances.

It's important to keep in mind that these are pretty weak rumours at this point, but it'd certainly be an interesting sign if Paul Lambert were already asking questions about possible Benteke replacements. Of the two players, Gomis strikes me as the more interesting, but I'm willing to be convinced the other way. Have you watched a lot of Lyon lately? Tell us what you know in the comments!