La Liga giants Atletico Madrid have opened talks with Aston Villa in a surprise move for French left-back Jordan Amavi, report L’Equipe.
The Spanish outfit are said to be interested in 23-year-old Amavi to replace Theo Hernandez, who is seemingly Real bound, and provide cover to veteran Filipe Luis.
Amavi has made 17 league appearances for a Villa side who have struggled for form this season and is expected to command a fee in the region of £10m. Atletico will face competition from Serie A’s Napoli, as the Italian side look to replace Faouzi Ghoulam.
After a disappointing season for Villa, which included a change of manager as Steve Bruce replaced Roberto Di Matteo, the Midlands side will be looking to cut down an inflated squad.
Amavi could line-up with fellow compatriots Antoine Griezmann and fellow target Alexandre Lacazette as Atletico look to bounce back after a disappointing Champions League exit against rivals Real Madrid.
A slow start to the season kept last season’s Champions League finalists from making a real push for the Spanish league title, although their form since the turn of the year would have seen them pushing Barcelona and Madrid rivals Real close at the top of the table.
Despite their early struggles, Diego Simeone’s side have kept the tightest defensive record in the league by some distance – conceding just 26 goals in their 37 games going into the season’s final weekend.
Likely Europa League qualifiers Villarreal hold the next best record, while champions-elect Real Madrid have conceded almost 60% more goals than their local rivals. In mitigation, Zinedine Zidane’s side have scored 37 more.
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