Aston Villa has been heavily linked with a move for Milot Rashica in the summer transfer window.
It is reported that a bid over £20million is being considered by Werder Bremen, while RB Leipzig had a bid of around £15million rejected.
According to German sports media, the Champions League semi-finalists have refused to meet the asking price from their Bundesliga counterparts. So does that leave Aston Villa in pole position?
HITC is reporting that Rashica doesn’t fancy a move to Birmingham, also excluding a move to Wolves, and desires a transfer to East Germany.
Any persuasion will likely to be down to a good wage packet and the chance to be a star man in a team desperate for goals.
But who is the Kosovan and how will he fit in with Villa’s fit style?
The winger is capable of using both feet but predominantly right-footed. Evidence of his goals last term shows he has got power and precision, with dynamism, a same stocky build and low centre of gravity, similar to Alexis Sanchez in his Premier League prime.
Rashica’s assist record is also a stand-out factor, with his impressive set-piece delivery likely to have Tyrone Mings and co pressing the Villa hierarchy to complete the move.
Eight goals and five assists for a team that finished third-bottom this season is a decent turnout, while a record of scoring 18 times in 63 Bundesliga appearances has attracted clubs up the ladder.
The 24-year-old played in Eredivisie with Vitesse Arnhem and his performances and contributions in Germany have matured since moving to Bremen.
His favourable position on the left, cutting in towards the goal will create panic in Premier League defenders, while also lifting bums off seats (post lifting of Covid-19 restrictions). Another position is behind the main striker, so it’s likely the Villa Park scouting team identified him as an ideal replacement for the “departing” Jack Grealish.
Should the captain remain with his boyhood club then it will push Grealish into a more central position to allow his creativity to flourish.
The Premier League could be the next step for the Kosovan international, who switched international allegiances after featuring throughout Albania’s youth ranks.
A change of heart will take some convincing from Johan Lange and will certainly be required to get this deal moving.