Bertrand Traore: Aston Villa agree £17m deal for Lyon forward

Villa have also had a £16m bid accepted for Arsenal goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez

Bertrand Traore has been at Lyon for three years after moving from Chelsea
Image: Bertrand Traore has been at Lyon for three years after moving from Chelsea

Aston Villa are set to sign forward Bertrand Traore from Lyon on a four-year contract after agreeing a deal worth £17m plus £2m in add-ons.

Traore, passed a medical in Copenhagen on Tuesday and a work permit hearing is expected to be a formality, with plans for him to fly to Birmingham on Wednesday.

The 25-year-old, who knows Villa coach John Terry from his time at Chelsea, has experience playing in the Champions League for the French club last season, scoring four times in 32 appearances in all competitions.

Traore is mobbed by his Lyon teammates after scoring in the Champions League against Benfica last season
Image: Traore is mobbed by his Lyon team-mates after scoring in the Champions League against Benfica last season

His most productive spell for Lyon came in his first year in France, scoring 17 times during the 2017-18 season.

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Villa have been actively looking for a new forward and were linked with a move for Werder Bremen's Milot Rashica.

The German club want a fee in the region of £18.5m (€20m) for the Kosovo international, who was linked to RB Leipzig earlier this summer.

Emiliano Martinez
Image: Villa are set to sign goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez from Arsenal for £16m

Villa are also set to announce the signing of goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez from Arsenal after having a £16m bid accepted on Saturday.

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The structure of Martinez's deal has allowed Villa to keep back some resources for the pursuit of a forward and helped fund their bid for Traore.

Villa have already broken their transfer record to sign Ollie Watkins from Brentford on a five-year deal, while Matty Cash has also joined on a five-year deal from Nottingham Forest.

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Bleacher Report's Sam Tighe tells the Transfer Talk podcast Aston Villa's record signing Ollie Watkins is a gamble but will add much-needed pace into the Premier League team

Aston Villa 2020/21: A season to consolidate?

Having survived by the skin of their teeth, Aston Villa now have a platform to build on in the Premier League.

Whether that's with talisman Jack Grealish, or with the funds his transfer could generate, remains to be seen, but the feeling is the club have got the hardest part out of the way already: Premier League survival in their first season back.

It was an odd campaign for Dean Smith's Villa - big summer spending, lots of hope, then injury, tactical naivety and a lack of cohesion. But it culminated in a valiant effort to secure survival on the last day. One thing is for sure, expectation at Villa Park is big, and fans won't be expecting another dog fight. The focus on 2020/21 is build, build, build.

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