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Transfer Round-Up: Lange has found some targets down the back of his spreadsheet

7500 to Holte takes a look at the latest transfer speculation surrounding Aston Villa as five more targets are added to the board — which stories are likely and which are busts?

Burnley v Liverpool - Premier League Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images

The Market is now open! With Aston Villa aiming to get their business done early, we may have already seen one player through the door before the Euros kick-off, with Emi Buendia all but confirmed on the club website at time of writing. With that said, 7500 to Holte brings you five more transfer rumors from around the 24-hour news cycle and assess’ their likelihood of actually coming to fruition.

Ghislain Konan

The first rumor links Villa to France and more specifically, a £5.5 million move for Reims left-back, Ghislain Konan, as reported by the Daily Mail.

The left-back matches up well to Matty Targett in his defensive statistics and is decently progressive too, though making more passes and dribbles. While initially seeming a good option for left-back competition, at 25, Konan is the same age as Targett, who after massive improvement this season, will be the number one choice. Moving on a younger, developing talent would potentially tie up the position for several years.

Additionally, the Daily Mail has a poor track record with Villa transfer news; in the article, Southampton are also linked to the player and will be able to offer more game time without any senior left-backs remaining at the club next season.

Chances of Occurring: As likely as Grealish allowing someone to touch his hair: 2/10

Dwight McNeil

Dwight McNeil is a player who Villa appear to hold serious interest for as The Athletic recently reported McNeil was of interest alongside Emi Buendia, and the 21-year-old is an interesting long-term option.

As stated, McNeil is a seriously interesting prospect. Between him and Buendia, it appears Villa are searching for creative forwards who offer more in defense — perhaps indicating the opportunity for a higher press than we have seen this season.

McNeil would offer Villa something different as a rotation option; currently being tasked with a more traditional ‘hug the line’ and whip it into the box style of wing play for Burnley. However, at 21, McNeil’s game is not yet set and under Dean Smith he could also develop his dribbling and creativity from the right as an inverted winger. With Bertrand Traoré being the only other left-footed winger on the club’s books, Villa could use another option in that area.

The likelihood of this particular transfer is a difficult to judge as McNeil is a key creative outlet for Burnley and as a youth player, who has come through the ranks, is valued highly at Turf Moor. It could take some serious negotiation from Villa’s side of things in order for an offer to match Burnley’s potential evaluation, which with a contract until 2024 and an option to extend, could be formidable. However, this will be Burnley’s first transfer window under new owner’s Alan Pace and ALK Capital, who despite having talked a big game about backing Sean Dyche in the transfer market, have left the club in debt when the group’s takeover used the club’s own money in the buyout. Burnley’s new debt could be an opportunity to get a deal like this over the line, but there are other targets should this not be possible.

Chances of Occurring: Similar chance of a Kortney Hause header hitting the target: 4/10

Mehdi Zerkane

An alternative to Dwight McNeil is Bordeaux’s 21-year-old winger, Mehdi Zerkane. L’Équipe reported that Villa’s scouting team have been attending his games and been impressed enough to get in contact with his representatives.

Stade de Reims v Girondins Bordeaux - Ligue 1 Uber Eats
Villa have already been in contact with Zerkane’s agent according to L’Equipe.
Photo by Hugo Pfeiffer/Icon Sport via Getty Images

Zerkane is a left footed right winger, putting him in direct competition with Bertrand Traoré, but after only one season at senior level, Zerkane would come in as a developing understudy rather than threaten Traoré’s starting position immediately. Villa’s winger was brought in for £17 million from Lyon last summer, so it seems unlikely that he would be relegated to the bench after only one season in which he has scored and assisted six apiece.

While he has had little impact in terms of goal involvements, with one goal and one assist this season, Zerkane has stood out in terms of his defensive statistics in which suggests that he could be an alternative option to McNeil. If he arrives, Zerkane could follow a path set out by players of a similar age and profile in Douglas Luiz and Ezri Konsa; building up minutes from the bench, starting cup games, and covering injuries until he develops into a first team regular in the long-term.

While Zerkane is not yet the complete package, Villa’s head of recruitment, Rob Mackenzie, has a history of finding developing value in the French leagues and being tasked with giving Dean Smith alternative options outside of England, he could represent a cheap yet sensible transfer that would allow Villa to spend big in other areas.

Chances of Occurring: About the same as a Villa free-kick hitting the first man: 5/10

David Turnbull

While not as unknown a quantity as the other rumors, David Turnbull’s breakout season for Motherwell and now Celtic in the Scottish Premiership has been substantial enough to get him linked to a £7 million move to Villa by the Scottish Sun.

Turnbull is another player who would fit Villa’s need for an attacking midfielder/winger and Turnbull has showed up on both wings and through the middle for Celtic this season. At 21, however, Turnbull is still developing and a move for him would block pathways into the first team for both the Ramsey brothers, Chukweumeka, and Philogene-Bidace.

£7 million would also seem low for an individual who has just won Scotland’s Young Player of the Year award for one of the biggest clubs in the country and after moving at the end of the last summer window. The Athletic also reported that Turnbull was not a target, meaning this might well be a case of an agent ‘leaking’ a rumor to a large newspaper to earn a pay increase for their client.

Chances of Occurring: As likely as Rémi Garde getting another job in the Premier League: 1/10

Milot Rashica

Here we go again! After last summer’s long-running transfer saga, Werder Bremen’s winger/attacking midfielder, Milot Rashica, has again been tipped for a Villa move. It is unclear exactly why Rashica’s move to Villa fell through, though the reasons range from the player not wanting to get involved in another relegation battle, preferring to stay in Germany, preferring a potential move to RB Leipzig, and to the player’s wage demands.

SV Werder Bremen v Bayer 04 Leverkusen - Bundesliga
Will Villa move on Rashica again after last summer’s transfer saga?
Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images

It has been a tough year for the Kosovarian attacker after suffering knee and hamstring injuries at the beginning of the season and then seeing Bremen move to a 3-5-2 system, leaving less room for a player that is better suited to the left of a front three. A move to Bayer Leverkusen then fell through and Bremen failed to register a win for the final two months of the season; subsequently relegating the outfit in northwest Germany.

The reduced minutes and injury issues also effected Rashica’s form. Where in previous seasons he over-performed, his expected goals total (measure of the quality of chances) was below par; suggesting some poor form in front of goal. His performance in lot of other metrics, while not disastrous, have also suffered this season compared to last, so he would need to regain form if signed.

Reports put Rashica’s price tag at a reduced price of £15 million due to Bremen’s relegation; a price where it could be worth seeing if he can reclaim his form (i.e., Bertrand Traoré). It is unlikely that Villa go back to this particular well as a resurgent El Ghazi and promising youth prospect in Jaden Philogene-Bidace means Villa are well stocked in that area.

Chances of Occurring: Similar chance as PMGOL accepting a refereeing mistake: 2/10