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Villa ponder Mbark Boussoufa swoop

Sport | Published:

Villa are weighing up a summer swoop for Anderlecht star Mbark Boussoufa.

Villa are weighing up a summer swoop for Anderlecht star Mbark Boussoufa.

According to Boussoufa's agent Rachid El Ghazali, the claret and blues have been tracking the creative midfielder, named Belgium's Player of the Year in the last two seasons, for over a year and are considering making an offer.

Anderlecht are resigned to losing the Dutch-born Morocco international, who is also interesting German duo Hamburg and Bayer Leverkusen as well as an unnamed Spanish club, but hope to hold out for close to their current 10 million euro price tag.

The 25-year-old, who began his career at the world-renowned Ajax academy, can play in central midfield or on either flank which would make him a potential replacement for James Milner, should Manchester City break Villa's resistance and prise the England star away from B6.

Boussoufa spent three years at Chelsea as a teenager between 2001 to 2004, something which could increase his appeal to O'Neill who traditionally tends to prefer buying players with experience of British football.

The diminutive 5ft 7ins star left Stamford Bridge to join Gent where he won the Belgium's Golden Boot and both the national Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year awards.

He has enjoyed further success since joining Anderlecht in 2006, winning a string of awards as well as topping the assists charts with 16 in Belgium's top flight last season.

O'Neill has yet to carry out any business in the transfer market this summer, with Milner's future set to dictate the extent of his warchest.

The Villa manager has been told he will have to adopt a sell-to-buy policy to generate most of his funds and Luke Young, Habib Beye, Curtis Davies, Nigel Reo-Coker, Steve Sidwell and Nicky Shorey have all been told they can leave if the price is right.

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