Brennan Johnson has caught the attention of numerous Premier League rivals – Getty Images/Clive Mason
Aston Villa have made a £30 million bid for Bayer Leverkusen winger Moussa Diaby and are considering an offer for Nottingham Forest forward Brennan Johnson.
Villa’s opening proposal for Diaby has been rejected by Leverkusen but negotiations remain ongoing over a potential deal for the France international.
Diaby, 24, is well known to Villa’s head coach Unai Emery from their time at Paris Saint-Germain and it is understood there is a degree of confidence over a deal being struck.
Emery is targeting attacking players ahead of his first full season and Forest’s Wales international Johnson is also emerging as a genuine option.
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.
Could Lucas Digne be used in a deal for Brennan Johnson? – Getty Images/Neville Williams
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.
Moreno is also doubtful to make the start of the season after recent surgery on a hamstring injury.
Willian, the Fulham forward, is another Forest target and a decision could be made on his future in the next 24 hours. Willian has been offered a two-year deal by Forest which is 12 months more than the contract on the table at Fulham, but there is still a chance of him staying at Craven Cottage.
Forest are also in talks with PSV Eindhoven over defensive midfielder Ibrahim Sangare, who is a long-term target for the club as reported last year.
Sangare has a release clause of around £31.6 million at the Eredivisie club, and there is interest from clubs across Europe.
Dean Henderson, the Manchester United goalkeeper, is Forest’s No. 1 target in that position while Wolves’ Jose Sa has emerged as another option.
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