Emery ‘tells’ Aston Villa ‘to accept offer’ for £25m man as they ‘discuss’ swap deal with Prem rivals

Lewis Oldham
Aston Villa to sell Digne
Aston Villa's Lucas Digne takes a free-kick.

Unai Emery has reportedly told Aston Villa that he would like them to ‘accept an offer’ for former Everton defender Lucas Digne this summer.

The Villans paid around £25m to sign the left-back in January 2022 after he had a fallout with former Everton boss Rafael Benitez. Interestingly, the Spanish head coach left the Toffees shortly after Digne departed.

The 29-year-old has played 47 times for Aston Villa over the past 18 months but he slipped down the pecking order under Emery last season. The ex-Arsenal boss opted to use January signing Alex Moreno as his preferred left-back.

Digne’s recent decline is fuelling talk over a summer move away from Villa Park, with Football Insider now reporting that they are ‘willing to listen to offers for him in the remaining six weeks of the window’.

Emery has reportedly ‘told the Villa hierarchy that he would be ready to let Digne go as he does not see him as a key man going into the new season’.

Aston Villa are busy improving their squad ahead of next season. So far, they have signed Pau Torres and Youri Tielemans from Villarreal and Leicester City respectively.

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They are now being linked with Nottm Forest’s Brennan Johnson and Bayer Leverkusen’s Moussa Diaby. 

Earlier this week, The Telegraph reported that Villa are in talks with Forest over Digne, so the defender could be included in a swap deal for Johnson. They added.

‘Johnson, 22, is rated at over £50 million by Forest but Villa believe they could agree a fee at a lower price. Forest knocked back a £30 million proposal from Brentford last month for Johnson.

‘Lucas Digne, the Villa left-back, has been mentioned during initial discussions between the two clubs and Forest have an interest as they are seeking reinforcements in that position.’

‘Renan Lodi has returned to Atletico Madrid after his loan spell last season, while there is uncertainty over the future of Harry Toffolo after he was charged with 375 alleged breaches of gambling laws by the Football Association.

‘Digne is free to leave Villa after the January acquisition of Alex Moreno but, at this stage, his wages of around £120,000 a week are proving prohibitive.

‘Forest would need Digne to agree to a wage cut to push the move through, or try and negotiate a loan deal for the season which is not an ideal scenario for either club.’

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