Bertrand Traore: Aston Villa remain set to sign Lyon forward

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

Aston Villa remain on course to sign forward Bertrand Traore from Lyon in a £17m deal, despite delays caused by his application for a work permit.

Traore, who has already agreed a four-year contract with Villa and passed a medical in Copenhagen on Tuesday, had been expected to fly to Birmingham to complete the deal on Wednesday.

However, with work permit applications currently taking longer than usual because of the coronavirus pandemic, both player and club have been forced to wait.

The 25-year-old, who knows Villa assistant 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.

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Emiliano Martinez
Image: Villa signed goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez from Arsenal for £16m

Villa have enjoyed a productive month in the transfer market, breaking their transfer record to sign Ollie Watkins from Brentford and sealing a £16m deal with Arsenal to for goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez, while Matty Cash has also joined on a five-year deal from Nottingham Forest.

However, perhaps Villa's most significant piece of business this summer has been tying club captain Jack Grealish to a new five-year contract, which the England midfielder signed on Tuesday.

Ollie Watkins 1:28
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.

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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