Multiple French media outlets are reporting that Aston Villa are in somewhere in the process of securing their fourth transfer of the summer from Ligue 1. This time it's Nantes midfielder Jordan Veretout. The 22-year-old central midfielder is yet another box-to-box type sort of the in the mold of Idrissa Gueye. In thirty-six Ligue 1 appearances last year he scored seven goals and added six assists to that tally.
The reports are coming from multiple sources and I'll be honest and say that my knowledge of French football is limited enough that I'm not sure how much to trust everything. This could either be multiple sources saying the same thing and thus making it more reliable or it could be one source saying something and everyone else piling on. But anyhow, let's get to the evidence. The most sure of anything is this tweet from French journalist Pascal Praud:
Jordan Verretout à Aston Villa ? A priori, c'est fait.— Pascal Praud (@PascalPraud) July 27, 2015
Roughly translated that means "Jordan Veretout to Aston Villa? It's done." In addition to being a journalist and the host of a nationally broadcast football radio show, Praud also spent two years as director of communication and marketing at Nantes, so one would think he has some pretty strong connections.
Next up in order of "oh this is a thing" is a report from Le Parisien that says VIlla will make a move for Veretout in the next few hours. It also mentions interest from Liverpool and Tottenham, which gets corroborated (or perhaps is begun) in a report from the 26th in L'Equipe that says Veretout is drawing interest from those clubs as well. The L'Equipe report also mentions interest from an unnamed club, who may be Villa, or someone else!
Needless to say, this is all shifting pretty quickly and the English press aren't weighing in much yet. Nevertheless, it's definitely something to keep an eye on. Having Veretout next to Gueye could make for a very potent box-to-box central midfield duo that could probably play one heck of a pivot. And hey, there could be some connection here between these rumours and the sudden bizarre actions of Charles N'Zogbia on twitter. That's purely speculation, but N'Zogbia as a makeweight in a deal between the clubs wouldn't be totally crazy.
We'll let you know if anything else develops.