The Midlands outfit are believed to be in the market for a new defensive midfielder when the summer transfer window kicks in and have already identified their top targets.
What is the latest news involving Aston Villa?
Current first-choice engine room operator Douglas Luiz has entered the final 15 months of his current contract at Villa Park and has been linked with a move to Arsenal by transfer guru Fabrizio Romano.
Therefore, it seems as though manager Steven Gerrard has already begun the search for the Brazilian’s replacement at the base of the midfield.
The 41-year-old tactician even revealed that Villa put in an offer for Bissouma in the January transfer window which was ‘turned away’ by the Seagulls.
“It was well documented that we put in a bid for Bissouma at Brighton which was turned away, and we respected and appreciated it,” Gerrard said.
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However, the Villans have also been named as ‘frontrunners’ in the race to prise Phillips away from Elland Road.
The Times claim that Villa are prepared to stump up £60 million to secure the services of the England international while paying him a £10m salary to sweeten the deal.
What has O’Rourke said about Aston Villa?
It was reported by The Athletic over the winter that Brighton had placed a £50m price tag on Bissouma, but that figure may drop dramatically when the market reopens.
The former Lille ace has entered the final 15 months of his current contract at the Amex Stadium, and O’Rourke believes the south coast club would be ‘willing to do business for the right fee’.
He told GiveMeSport: “I think Brighton would be willing to do business for the right fee. So, I think for Villa, they do like Bissouma, and I think that deal is more achievable probably than Kalvin Phillips right now.”
Would Bissouma or Phillips be a better signing?
As per FBref, Phillips has won 3.37 tackles per 90 minutes this term, made 9.65 successful pressures and 2.54 blocks, bettering Bissouma’s tallies of 2.32, 6.46 and 1.77, respectively.
And the Leeds ace has also been more effective in possession, completing 4.74 passes that enter the final third of the pitch per 90 minutes, 1.49 shot-creating actions and 3.77 progressive passes.
Bissouma, on the other hand, has racked up tallies of 2.93, 1.10 and 2.21, indicating that Phillips may be worth the extra money it would take to bring him to Villa.