Aston Villa on brink of beating West Ham to ‘magic’ midfielder

Having sneaked through to the Europa League third qualifying round by beating Maltese side Birkirkara on penalties, after losing 1-0 in normal time and seeing centre-half James Tomkins sent off, West Ham could probably do with a bit of a boost on their way home from Malta.

Alas, it seems the hits just keep coming at Slaven Bilic and co, as Argentine veteran Esteban Cambiasso, the 34-year-old former Leicester midfielder who was linked to east London over recent days, is reportedly leaning towards staying in the Midlands with Aston Villa.

That’s according to the Sun at least, who claim Tim Sherwood is closing in on moves for Cambiasso and Blackburn striker Rudy Gestede, scorer of 22 goals in 44 all-competition games under Gary Bowyer last term.

Considering Cambiasso was thought to be seen as an alternative to Alex Song by West Ham, who spent 2014/15 on loan at the Boleyn Ground, the Irons may now be inclined to go back to Barcelona for the Cameroonian, although his astronomical wages have previously proved a stumbling block to a permanent deal.

That being said, with Mark Noble, Cheikou Kouyate, Diego Poyet and new signing Pedro Obiang all capable of operating in a range of central-midfield positions, Bilic may be better served focusing his attentions on thinner areas of his squad, such as centre-forward.

In other Villa transfer news, Sky Sports believe Sherwood’s side have lodged a £12m bid with Lorient for Ghanaian forward Jordan Ayew.


Ghana international Jordan Ayew has been linked with a move to Aston Villa

The 23-year-old, whose older brother Andre joined Swansea from Marseille earlier this summer, scored 13 times in 28 all-competition fixtures during his first season with Les Murlus.

Ayew was sold by Marseille last summer after spending eight years at Stade Velodrome, where he bagged 10 goals in 47 fixtures during 2012/13.

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Iain Houten

Iain has been contributing pieces to various websites on an array of subjects, including sports, politics and art, for over four years. Despite blue being his favourite colour, the teams he supports all wear red.