Mali strike ace could add much-desired firepower to Aston Villa

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Aston Villa’s attempts to land a striker have been ongoing this summer, and Paul Lambert is desperate to complete a deal before tonight’s transfer deadline.

Lambert has been keen to sign Genk striker Christian Benteke, but has grown frustrated by the Belgian club’s reluctance to accept what he believes to be a reasonable £5million offer.

Genk are believed to want closer to £15million for their 21-year-old asset, an amount which is simply not viable for a club in Villa’s financial position.

It is thought the Midlands outfit would pay up to £7million, but with the transfer deadline fast approaching, Villa boss Lambert could instead turn his attentions to Bordeaux’s Cheick Diabate.

A Mali international, Diabate first caught the eye of many a scout when impressing in this year’s African Cup of Nations.

And he has begun this season’s Ligue 1 campaign in notable fashion, scoring three times in his first five games.

Villa have been most impressed by his displays, and as such may be ready to test his French employers’ resolve with a £5million bid.

That would make him the Villains’ second attacking addition of the day, with Lambert having tied up a £200,000 deal for Chesterfield youngster Jordan Bowery this morning.

But with that signing made with a view to the future, Villa will be desperate to secure a first-team-ready forward before 11pm tonight, with Diabate possibly most likely to arrive.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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