Unai Emery gunning for 150-goal striker as Danny Ings replacement at Aston Villa, with cut-price deal available

Moussa Dembele of Lyon Credit: Alamy
Moussa Dembele of Lyon Credit: Alamy

Unai Emery is already getting to work on a striker replacement for Danny Ings and wants Aston Villa to sign a Ligue 1 forward, according to a report.

West Ham began negotiations with Villa for Ings on Thursday morning. After having a £12million bid rejected, they came back with another offer worth £15m. This was soon accepted by Villa, despite it seeing them take a £10m on the attacker.

The deal is now all agreed between the two clubs and is just waiting on a medical and paperwork signing before it can be announced.

Ings will rival Gianluca Scamacca and Michail Antonio for a starting spot at the London Stadium. David Moyes was in need of a new goalscorer as his side have only found the back of the net 15 times in 19 Premier League games so far this season.

The departure of Ings leaves Emery slightly short in the striker position. While Villa have already brought in Jhon Duran from Chicago Fire, he is only 19 years old and will need time to adapt and develop. Therefore, an experienced striker is required to provide competition and backup for Ollie Watkins.

As per French outlet Foot Mercato, Emery would ‘love’ to land Moussa Dembele from Lyon. He has previously targeted the Frenchman during his spells in charge of Paris Saint-Germain and Villarreal, but has been unable to land him.

Therefore, Emery is hoping it can be third time lucky and that he can take Dembele to Villa Park. There is a good chance of Villa agreeing a deal with Lyon, too.

Dembele’s contract with the French side expires in the summer. As he is unlikely to pen an extension, Lyon now have a big decision to make. They must either sell him to Villa for a cut-price fee this month, or allow him to go on a free transfer at the end of the season.

Aston Villa might get striker on the cheap

It would be preferable to Lyon if they sold Dembele in January. While they would not get his full transfer value, they would at least get some money back for him.

Villa will look to capitalise on the situation and may submit a bid for the striker in the next week. transfermarkt rate him at €18m (£15.7m), but Villa should not have to spend this much.

Dembele would be a fantastic replacement for Ings at Villa. He is a renowned goal-getter, having scored 151 times in 340 games throughout his whole career.

While he does not have as much Premier League experience as Ings, he has already played in England. He was on Fulham’s books between 2012 and 2016, bagging 19 goals in 64 games for the Cottagers.

Dembele could become Villa’s third capture of the January window. Their first new arrival was Spanish left-back Alex Moreno, who joined from Real Betis in a £12.5m transfer.

Then it was Duran’s turn to join Emery’s project in the West Midlands. He cost $22m (£18m), making him one of the most valuable MLS exports of all time.

Meanwhile, former Villa boss Steven Gerrard has discovered whether he will take charge of Poland.

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