Aston Villa: Behind-scenes figure who 'negotiates with agents' has 'key role' at Villa Park

Aston Villa sporting director Johan Lange has a ‘key role to play’ as Steven Gerrard looks to welcome reinforcements to Villa Park during the summer transfer window, according to journalist Pete O’Rourke.

Gerrard was unveiled as the Midlands club’s head coach last November and will be given the opportunity to add fresh faces to his squad at the end of the season.

What’s the latest news involving Lange?

Lange was appointed as Villa’s sporting director in the summer of 2020, having spent six years working behind-the-scenes at FC Copenhagen.

Co-owners Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens claimed luring Lange to Villa Park would allow the club to strengthen their ‘analytics, sports science, talent recruitment and player development programmes’, while the Dane admitted he was ‘excited and honoured’ to head to the Premier League.

The five most expensive signings in Villa’s history have been completed since the 42-year-old’s arrival, with Emiliano Buendia, Ollie Watkins, Leon Bailey, Lucas Digne and Danny Ings’ additions demonstrating the ambition being shown.

According to The Athletic, Lange has been responsible for the big-name signings to have come through the door since his return to the Midlands, having previously been Stale Solbakken’s assistant manager during his reign at Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Lange was also busy in the early stages of 2022, with the dealings resulting in Villa being the sixth biggest spenders during the January transfer window.

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What has Pete O’Rourke said about Lange?

O’Rourke believes Lange will be integral as Gerrard looks to bolster his squad during the summer.

The journalist reckons the Dane is set to work closely with chief executive Christian Purslow, along with co-owners Sawiris and Edens, in order to ensure Gerrard’s main targets are captured.

O’Rourke told GIVEMESPORT: “Lange does conduct most of the negotiations with the agents and potential transfer targets, so I still think he’s got a key role to play for Villa.

“He will be looking and scouting players and be involved with the whole set-up of the Aston Villa hierarchy.

“It’s going from Gerrard to Lange to Purslow to the money men, so I still think he’s got a big role to play.”

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Who is Lange likely to be chasing this summer?

According to Football Insider, Villa have shown renewed interest in Brighton & Hove Albion central midfielder Yves Bissouma.

The report suggests contact has been made with Bissouma’s camp and the Midlands giants have asked to be kept informed about his situation.

Gerrard previously admitted Villa saw a big-money bid turned down by Brighton during the January window.

The heart of the midfield is clearly a position pinpointed for strengthening as Villa have also emerged as the frontrunners to strike a £60million deal for Leeds United star Kalvin Phillips.

However, question marks were raised over Lange’s recruitment of Morgan Sanson, so he has not been wholly successful in his efforts to strengthen the squad.

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