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Marseille open talks with Aston Villa's Idrissa Gueye over £7.1m transfer

Idrissa Gueye of Aston Villa controls the ball under pressure of Hathan Redmond of Norwich City
Image: Marseille are in talks with midfielder Idrissa Gueye over a potential departure from Aston Villa

Marseille have entered into talks with Aston Villa over midfielder Idrissa Gueye, having triggered his £7.1m release clause.

The 26-year-old moved to Villa last summer after spending five years with Lille, however, following Villa's relegation to Championship, he is now keen on returning to France.

Gueye made 38 appearances for Villa last season, scoring just once - in the 2-0 FA Cup third-round replay win over Wycombe Wanderers.

New Villa manager Roberto di Matteo completed the signing of Reading midfielder Aaron Tshibola earlier this week, the club's third new signing following the recruitment of Tommy Elphick and Pierluigi Gollini.

Reading midfielder Aaron Tshibola
Image: Villa signed Aaron Tshibola from Reading this week

Di Matteo is undertaking a rebuilding of the Villa squad following their relegation from the Premier League and having been appointed as manager by the club's new owner Tony Xia.

Xia has set the club the ambitious target of winning the Champions League as he prepares to overhaul the club following their relegation to the Sky Bet Championship.

The forthcoming season will be the first outside of the top flight since 1987 but Di Matteo has vowed to unify the club as they target an immediate return to the Premier League. 

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Roberto di Matteo is excited by the project at Aston Villa

The club are currently reviewing their recruitment structure after the former regime spent around £55m on new signings last summer. 

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