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Aston Villa will complete the signing of Lyon midfielder Jean II Makoun once personal terms with the Cameroon international can be agreed.
The Premier League side have finalised a €6million (£5m) fee with the Ligue 1 outfit with €3million (£2.5m) in add-ons.
However, Villa are yet to agree personal terms with the 27-year-old, the same reason they reportedly failed to land Le Havre starlet Gueida Fofana.
Lyon coach Claude Puel believes Makoun has been a crucial member of the team of late, but accepts that finances have the final impact on their decision.
"We know what Jean II's brought us recently, he's an important member of the team," Puel told L'Equipe.
"But there are financial factors a club has to consider. I'm considering them.
"Replacement? No, our winter transfer market will be our players returning to top form. We have a quality group."
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I was at St Mary's on Wednesday night and I think the 'know-alls' will be starting to say 'I told you so' and the 'wheels are falling off' because Southampton have lost three in a row.
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Aston Villa are under pressure to deliver against Swansea City after a dismal run of form over the festive period.
Paul Lambert insists making new signings during the January transfer window is not a priority.
Wigan Athletic climbed out of the Premier League relegation zone with a 3-0 win over fellow strugglers Aston Villa.
Man Utd ended 2012 with a seven-point lead, as Man City edged out Norwich City in a thriller and Arsenal hit seven past Newcastle.
Paul Lambert says there is no point dwelling on Villa's start to the festive period as they aim to get back on track