Villa and Wolves enter race for promising Lille midfielder
Aston Villa and Wolverhampton Wanderers have become the latest clubs to express an interest in signing French wonderkid Boubakary Soumare, according to reports.
Soumare, 22, has caught the eye of a number of Europe’s leading clubs with his combative performances for Lille this season, who are flying high at the top of Ligue 1.
Manchester United, Manchester City, Leeds United and AC Milan are all thought to be keeping tabs on the midfielder, with Leicester City currently leading the race for his signature. Negotiations with the Foxes are reported to be at an advanced stage.
According to FootMercato, though, Leicester will face extra competition for Soumare’s signature, with Wolves and Villa also keen on securing his services this summer.
Soumare has made over 100 appearances for Lille since joining from Paris Saint-Germain in 2017, plying his trade as a defensive midfielder.
Adept at breaking up opposition interplay, the French U21 international retains the desire to drive forward and contribute to the attack when necessary. He has been likened to N’Golo Kanté in the past.
Speaking about his summer transfer plans last month, Foxes boss Brendan Rodgers told Leicestershire Live: “I think there are a number of key areas we want to look at.
“If I think of this season, we have played in a different way, maybe not so consistently (in the same set-up) because of the number of injuries we’ve had compared to last season.
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“There are a number of areas we want to strengthen in the squad if we can do that.
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“It’s OK me sitting here saying that, but the world has changed in a number of ways with the pandemic and the finances.
“The club have already spoken on that, and where they can support to improve the squad, they will look to do that, which is great.”
Aston Villa host Manchester United on Sunday and will be looking to reignite their fading dreams of achieving European football for next season.
They will have to do so without their injured talisman Jack Grealish, who has returned to training but is yet to recover his match fitness, according to Dean Smith.
The Villa boss said: “He’s out on the grass and on his way back, but this game will be too soon for him.”