Five Defensive Midfield Players Villa Could Still Target

In the last 24 hours it has come to light that Aston Villa's apparent chase for Rodrigo Bentancur has come to a crashing halt as the Uruguayan has decided to join up with Antonio Conte at Tottenham. How much interested Villa actually had in the midfield player is still up for debate but one fact that cannot be denied is Villa's want for a new defensive midfielder.

The latest news we're hearing is that the club is more than happy to wait for the right man to become available, even if that means waiting until the summer. Having said that, the recent transfer of Calum Chambers has shown that not many reporters truly know what Villa Sporting Director Johan Lange is actually up to behind the scenes, so a deadline day transfer for a much needed defensive midfielder may not be out the question.

Here are five names that Aston Villa may be targeting, either by tomorrow's deadline or the summer.

Boubacur Kamara

Boubacur Kamara is a name that was being floated around before the media jumped on the Bentancur story. It's no secret that Kamara's contract with his boyhood club Marseille runs out this summer. Unlike Bentancur, Kamara is primarily a defensive midfielder who, due to his contract situation, is available for a reasonable price reported to be around the £10 million mark. Although he's not yet proven in the Premier League, he looks like the ideal answer to Villa's defensive midfield dilemma.

The main stumbling block comes in the form of other more appealing clubs showing their interest. Manchester United have already reportedly been in talks with the player with some outlets also reporting interest from Atletico Madrid and Arsenal. This could of course be just agent talk to drum up interest, but there's little doubt the player will be excited by some of the teams he's been linked with. Boubacur Kamara essentially has the pick of the bunch in this situation so unless we go in hard with silly money, there's every chance he'll hold out for a huge move to a Champions League club.

Yves Bissouma

This is a story that does not seem to be going away anytime soon and may be the quoted ideal target Villa are happy to wait until the summer for. The pros and cons of Yves Bissouma has been done to death but the price tag of £50 million seems to be non-negotiable. After already spending big money in this window, the amount Brighton are asking for may be a step too far when it comes to keeping an eye on FFP.

There may be a solution that involves shipping off Douglas Luiz with both North London clubs apparently interested in signing the Brazilian. However this is another reason the deal would need to be worked out in the summer as moving on Luiz and bringing in Bissouma with only one day left in the window seems like a risky move that could easily blow up in Villa's face if not handled correctly.

Oriol Romeu

The only name on this list that hasn't actually been reported, Oriol Romeu isn't a flashy signing and may be a player that doesn't necessarily excite many Villa supporters but could be a realistic option for Steven Gerrard.

Romeu ticks a lot of boxes when looking for that classic number 6. He's a big destroyer who has bundles of experience in the Premier League and would fit into the team with relative ease. At 30-years-old, Romeu wouldn't be a signing for the future but would address an area of the pitch Villa desperately needs filling right now, especially in Nakamba's absence. It's tough to say how realistic this deal may be but the player's contract apparently runs out in 18 months and given his age, Southampton may be tempted to cash in much like they did with Danny Ings. The only issue is that Romeu tends to start most games for Southampton so letting him go at this stage of the transfer window would not make much sense on their end and come the summer we may have other targets in mind.

Glen Kamara

The second Kamara on this list has been touted about as Villa's apparent "last resort" if the club fails with it's other targets. Glen Kamara's history with Steven Gerrard at Rangers means we can never write this one off and even though it's late in the window, there's a feeling Rangers would let him go at the right price. With a lack of experience at the highest level, it's tough to make a case for Glen Kamara being an improvement on what Villa already have. If Kamara joined tomorrow, there's little chance he pushes Douglas Luiz out of the side when we play Leeds in ten days time. So if this one happens, it's to build squad depth rather than actually improving on a position, and I can't help but think the deal would have already happened if this was the plan.

Kalvin Phillips

A little bit of honesty here from your humble writer, I'm adding Kalvin Phillips at the end of this piece just to finish on a giant piece of positive hope. Gregg Evans (The Athletic) mentioned Phillips as a long term target earlier today which although feels very pie in the sky, is not the first time we've heard this. There were many reports of Villa trying to sign the England international the year we got promoted while Leeds United were still in the Championship. A signing of this magnitude is of course a deal fans could only dream about and is usually reserved for the likes of Fifa Career Mode and Football Manager.

The obstacles here are almost too many to mention. For one Leeds would not want to sell to who they would consider a rival, then there's the player himself who probably pictures himself playing in the Champions League sooner rather than later and the transfer fee would likely be well over the £50million we're hesitant to pay for Bissouma.

However.. If you'd have told me back in December that Aston Villa would have Philippe Coutinho and Lucas Digne on their books I'd have laughed in your face. With the ambition shown by Aston Villa in recent times, never say never. (Though it's probably a never)


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