According to The Athletic, Aston Villa have now turned their attentions to former Newcastle United loan flop Islam Slimani in their search for a new striker.
Now club record signing Wesley Moraes has been ruled out for the season with a serious knee injury – a player Rafa Benitez once looked at for NUFC – Villa’s options up top are almost non existent, and it looks like they’re getting desperate in their search for a quick fix this month.
With loan bids for Chelsea duo Michy Batshuayi and Olivier Giroud, The Athletic claim Dean Smith is now looking at Islam Slimani.
The Algerian striker had a torrid spell on Tyneside after arriving on loan from Leicester City in January 2018 and has had mixed fortunes ever since.
He endured a difficult spell at Fenerbahce last season, scoring just once in 15 league games for the Turkish giants, but has recaptured his best form during his latest loan move, bagging 7 goals and 7 assists in 13 appearance for Monaco in Ligue 1.
The Athletic claim his time in France could be cut short, with him open to a move elsewhere, and it looks like Aston Villa want him – despite the 31-year-old failing to prove himself in the Premier League up until now.
He flopped badly at Newcastle, with injuries and ill discipline costing him dearly, but he has been in superb form this season and did cost Leicester City the best part of £30m just a few years ago.
It will be interesting to see how he gets on should he join potential relegation rivals Aston Villa in the final 19 days of the transfer window..