According to French publication L’equipe (Birmingham Mail article), Sky Bet Championship duo Aston Villa and Leeds United are battling it out to sign Lille winger Anwar El Ghazi. The Dutch international is available to leave the Ligue 1 side, who have financial struggles, and are looking to raise funds.
Steve Bruce and Marcelo Bielsa however do face interest from others in the quest to snap up El Ghazi. Rennes and Saint-Etienne, who are both in Ligue 1 too, are keen on the former Ajax forward. The player is managed by ‘super agent’ Jorge Mendes, and valued at £5million. It could be that the player leaves on loan now, before a permanent move in January or the end of the season.
Mendes is said to be ‘lending an ear’ to the new Aston Villa owners Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens. With their sizeable investment secured, they are looking towards the high profile agent to try and secure some excellent additions to the Villa Park playing near in the future. Mendes however have worked with Leeds owner Andrea Radrizzani too, so there is seemingly no preference in that regard.
It is well known that Bruce is looking for another wide man to boost his roster. Yannick Bolasie is one player that he is keen on, but face huge competition from league rivals Middlesbrough for his situation. In the case of Leeds, they currently have Stuart Dallas out injured, and options in the wide areas in not exactly well occupied, despite Jack Harrison arriving on loan from Manchester City on loan.
23-year-old El Ghazi came through the ranks at the well regarded Ajax setup. He went on to play over 70 times in the first team before a switch to France in January 2017.