With Christian Benteke leaving Aston Villa earlier this week, the club's biggest transfer need immediately became finding a new striker. Luckily, though Benteke's departure necessitated the new emphasis, it also provided the funds, and Tim Sherwood may be planning on using those to buy 23-year-old Ghanaian striker Jordan Ayew. Villa have reportedly offered at least £9 million to Ligue 1 side Lorient for Ayew, though some papers are reporting that the number is as high as £12 million. (My guess is that those folks converted to euros but forgot to change their symbol.)
Ayew, whose brother Andre has just recently signed with Swansea, is apparently keen on a move to Aston Villa, and the general feeling in most reports I've come across is that this bid will end up being accepted. Assuming it is, the desire to play in England could, once again, help Villa land a talented young player to help bolster a squad who finished 17th last year.
And make no mistake, Ayew is talented. In 33 appearances (mostly starts) with Lorient this season, he found the back of the net 13 times, including a brace in a visit to Marseille in April. Herbert wrote about him last week and said that Ayew is an "agile striker, different from the target-man style of Christian Benteke or Libor Kozak." That could mean a pretty big change in how Aston Villa play, but the inclusion of players like Jordan Amavi and Idrissa Gueye (not to mention the seeming return-to-favor of Carles Gil) suggests that we may be seeing that this season anyhow.
As it stands, enough reputable outlets are reporting the Ayew offer to make me think it's true. What remains to be seen is if Lorient will accept and then if Villa can close the deal.