Aston Villa working on Said Benrahma swoop
Villa remain hopeful of striking a deal for Said Benrahma despite Brentford slapping a £20million price tag on the winger.
Former Bees boss Dean Smith is eager to be reunited with Benrahma, who netted 11 goals last season, his first in English football.
But Brentford are unwilling to let the 23-year-old leave on the cheap and are asking for £20million.
Villa are refusing to pay that much but will still attempt to negotiate a lower fee in the coming weeks.
Joe Lolley is still being considered as an alternative, though that may also prove a difficult deal to complete with Nottingham Forest reluctant to part with their best player.
Villa have already broken their transfer record with a £22million swoop for Wesley Moraes from Club Brugge.
A signal of the club’s intent following promotion, it also confirmed their spending power to rivals, who can now be expected to drive a hard bargain if Villa come calling for their players.
Business is expected to step up further toward the end of the month with Villa set to firm up their interest in Leeds midfielder Kalvin Phillips with a formal bid.
Stoke City’s Jack Butland and Cardiff’s Neil Etheridge are the two main goalkeeping targets for Smith, who also remains confident of securing a permanent deal for Tyrone Mings from Bournemouth.
Moraes’ record move, which remains subject to the 22-year-old being granted a work permit, should be formally completed this week, along with the £3million transfer of Kortney Hause from Wolves.
Former Villa skipper Tommy Elphick has, meanwhile, joined Huddersfield Town on a two-year deal.
The 31-year-old was one of nine players released earlier this month as Smith began his rebuild of the squad after winning promotion.