Aston Villa readying second bid for Arsenal transfer target

Unai Emery could be set to return to haunt his old side

Aston Villa are readying a second bid for one-time Arsenal transfer target Moussa Diaby after seeing their first offer rebuffed by Bayer Leverkusen, it has been reported.

The Premier League outfit saw their first bid, believed to consist of 35m euros plus add-ons, turned down by the German side. But with just two years left on the 24-year-old’s contract at Leverkusen, it is expected that the Frenchman will depart this summer.

To that end, Unai Emery’s side are preparing a second offer for Diaby, with the winger himself open to a move to the Premier League and ready to agree personal terms on any move to Villa Park, following former teammate Leon Bailey to the midlands.

They will face competition from Saudi Arabia, with Al-Nassr also reportedly keen on the forward, while Arsenal have held a long-standing interest in Diaby and could yet move when they have completed a deal for Declan Rice, who is expected to be announced over the weekend as the club’s new record signing.

Mikel Arteta’s side are expected to continue their aggressive recruitment this summer and have identified the right-wing, where Bukayo Saka started 37 of the 38 Premier League games last season, as a position where more cover is needed.

Diaby has been long-linked with a switch to the Emirates for that reason, while Newcastle United have also been linked with a move in the past, though their interest appears to have cooled following the arrival of Anthony Gordon in January.

The forward grabbed 14 goals and 11 assists in 48 outings last season, helping Leverkusen finish sixth and return to the Europa League next season. Now, he may be set to trade that in for Aston Villa, and the UEFA Conference League.

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Ben Browning

Ben Browning

Football writer and analyst. Long-time writer of all things Arsenal and avid watcher of European football. Happy to discuss all things football over on Twitter.

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