Aston Villa: £18m Villa Park target has 'done it at a higher level'

Steven Gerrard takes charge of a Premier League game for Aston Villa

Aston Villa target Geoffrey Kondogbia has played at a ‘higher level’ than some of the other players on their radar, according to journalist Josh Holland.

The 29-year-old is believed to be one of several central midfielders on the Midlands outfit’s shortlist as they look to continue their progression on the pitch under Steven Gerrard.

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According to BirminghamLive, Gerrard personally scouted Kondogbia during Atletico Madrid’s Champions League encounter with Manchester City.

The report states that the defensive-minded ace is believed to be a ‘serious target’, with the Villa hierarchy seemingly ‘very confident’ of getting a deal over the line.

However, Kondogbia is not the only engine room operator believed to be on Gerrard’s wish list.

Dutch newspaper Voetbal International has claimed that the 41-year-old tactician has also ran the rule over PSV Eindhoven’s Ibrahim Sangare, while Football Insider have credited Villa with an interest in Boubacar Kamara of Marseille.

With Douglas Luiz expected to depart Villa Park after entering the final 14 months of his current contract, Gerrard already appears to be working towards bringing in his successor.

What has Holland said about Kondogbia?

Holland believes Kondogbia has more experience at the top of the game than the likes of Sangare and Kamara, and also reckons signing a central defensive midfielder is a ‘priority’ for Villa.

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He told GiveMeSport: “Kondogbia, I think everyone knows his performances in the Champions League for years now have been noted.

“He’s a bit on the veteran side compared to the other two (Sangare and Kamara), but he’s done it at a higher level than obviously PSV and Marseille. So, I do think that a CDM was probably their priority.”

Who would be the best signing for Villa?

Kondogbia, who cost Atletico £18m in 2020, has made 27 appearances in the Champions League throughout his career, has won La Liga with Atleti, the Europa League with Sevilla and the Copa del Rey during his time at Valencia.

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Kamara, on the other hand, is yet to win any silverware and has only amassed five outings in Europe’s elite cup competition, while Sangare has got his hands on the Dutch Cup, but it is yet to get past the Champions League qualifying stages.

If it’s experience and proven quality that Gerrard wants at Villa, then Kondogbia would be the obvious choice, but it remains to be seen if he can be convinced to join his ongoing revolution.

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