Meet the prospective Villa signing who could signal star’s exit

In light of baffling news that Fabian Delph’s freshly-penned Aston Villa contract could be jeopardised by a bid of just £10m from potential suitors, Tim Sherwood is busy making contingencies.

Villa will be desperate to hang onto Delph’s services at all costs, despite the crazily low buyout clause figure widely reported, but should Manchester City renew interest in the England man then Idrissa Gueye is being handpicked to fill the void.

The Senegalese Lille midfielder will be the subject of a £6.5m bid from Villa according to the Sun newspaper, but his name probably won’t mean a great deal to fans of the FA Cup finalists.

Having moved to French club Lille in 2010, Gueye quickly helped the club finish high enough in Ligue 1 to secure a Champions League spot.

He featured in the competition six times over the next two seasons and has established himself as a lynchpin at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy.

A diminutive figure at just 5ft 7”, Gueye is a no-nonsense defensive midfielder who is known for his terrier-like bite in the tackle, high-levels of fitness and ability to keep the play ticking over.

Goals are not the Senegal international’s forte but he’s upped the ante in that respect, much like Delph at Villa Park, chipping in with four of the five he’s netted in 135 total Lille appearances during the season just gone.

Most recently Everton fans will probably recognise Villa’s potential new boy for two industrious performances last season against the Toffees in the Europa League group stages.

Given he possesses similar attributes to Delph and he carries a wealth of European experience, Villa fans could be pleasantly surprised should he sign, but clearly keeping their star midfielder is the priority.

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Christian Crowther

Give Christian a sport with anything remotely spherical in it and he’ll happily while away the hours watching it on the box. However, he’d much prefer writing about, playing or betting on golf, football, cricket, tennis, snooker.... you get the picture.