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Swedish league’s leading scorer could be headed to Villa Park

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While most Villa fans are looking within England for transfer targets, the Claret and Blues have been linked with a move for the Swedish Allsvenskan’s leading scorer, 25-year-old striker Marcus Antonsson.

A general view of cloudy skies over the stadium prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Aston Villa and Southampton at Villa Park on April 23, 2016 in Birmingham, United Kingdom.
A general view of cloudy skies over the stadium prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Aston Villa and Southampton at Villa Park on April 23, 2016 in Birmingham, United Kingdom.
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Being linked with a striker that’s opened his season with 10 goals in 12 league games is typically a pretty good start. But when that player’s coming from Sweden’s Allsvenskan, it’ll raise a few more eyebrows.

According to a report at Fotboll Direkt, Aston Villa are part of a group of foreign clubs interested in Kalmar’s Marcus Antonsson, who’s already hit double digits this season as his team sits mid-table early on in the Allsvenskan campaign. The 25-year-old striker didn’t do much during the early years of his career, scoring just 11 league goals in 71 appearances at Halmstads, but after moving to Kalmar, he’s had a good record, hitting for 12 goals last year in 31 games before opening this season on a tear — he’s the only player in double digits so far.

The transfer fee required for the 6-foot-1/2 striker is rumoured to be around just £1.2 million, and other interest comes from Leeds United and Cardiff City in the Championship, as well as Danish champions FC København, reigning Allsvenskan winners Norrköping and leaders Malmö. The expectation seems to be that the player favours a move abroad, rather than to one of the Swedish giants, but that interest from the clubs that see him day-in, day-out speak positively about the player.

If you’re looking for a good introductory report on the player, I’d recommend @jonas_hansson’s Twitter feed, who calls Antonsson a "smart player" looking to break into the Swedish national team.

The Antonsson rumours are a stark contrast to the ones linking Villa with Patrick Bamford, the striker who didn’t score at all in the Premier League last year, but it could be a smart move for the club. At the end of the day, confidence reigns supreme for forwards, and getting one at the height of his game right now for a low price could be a pretty shrewd signing.

We’ll see if we hear more on these Antonsson rumours, or if they’ll just fade (as perhaps expected?) into the background, never to be heard about again.