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Villa may have bid in on yet another Barcelona academy graduate

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According to reports in the Italian press, Aston Villa have submitted a bid for Barcelona academy product Keita Balde Diao.

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The Italian press, led by a paper-only report from Corriere della Sera, are reporting that Aston Villa have submitted a bid of somewhere between €10-11 million for Lazio's Keita Balde Diao. The forward, who is usually simply known as Keita, is a product of Barcelona's academy system, having played there from 2004-2011. At Lazio, where is has been since leaving Spain, the 20-year-old has made 48 first team appearances since 2013.

He's apparently on the market after getting into an argument with Lazio's president after he was benched in the club's 2-0 loss to Juventus in the Supercoppa. Previously he has attracted interest from clubs such as Liverpool and Arsenal, and he's widely considered to be an exciting, up-and-coming forward.

He's a pacy, technical player who could be best used by playing out wide and looking for a chance to drive into the box. His six goals in forty-eight appearances might seem like a low total, but when you consider his youth and the fact that he has been used primarily as a substitute, you get a picture that is less concerning.

At this point, this isn't the best-sourced of rumours, and we've seen plenty of things like this make a quick blip on the radar and fade away to nothing. Even if these rumours are true, Lazio look to be asking €15 million for him, and that might be enough to keep Aston Villa away.

In the meantime enjoy this video of Keita. You'll see a really gifted, poised player who seems to get tackled more than even Jack Grealish. If there's one thing in here that's a bit concerning, it's finishing ability. But he's 20, that will come.