Former Arsenal star ‘top of shopping list’ at Aston Villa as Unai Emery seeks reunion with £9m midfielder

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Mikel Arteta’s side are preparing for a massive Premier League fixture this weekend as they face North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur.

The January transfer window has been open for 12 days now and is almost at the halfway stage with clubs across the Premier League having already completed some significant deals.

However, that has not been the case at league leaders Arsenal who have yet to bring in any new players this month while speculation around potential deals also seems to have slowed down. The Gunners had been linked with a loan move for Atletico Madrid forward Joao Felix but were reportedly unwilling to pay the €11 million loan fee demanded by the La Liga side. The Portuguese forward has since completed a short term move to Chelsea.

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Meanwhile, another English top flight side who have been active in this window is Aston Villa who are of course under the management of former Gunners head coach Unai Emery. The Midlands side have already completed a deal for Real Betis full back Alex Moreno and look to have now turned their attention to a former Arsenal star as their next potential recruit.

According to a report from The Daily Mail, Villa want to sign ex-Gunner Matteo Guendouzi, who only completed a permanent move to French side Marseille last summer. The report states that the Ligue 1 club have already knocked back an early offer from the Villains but Emery remains undeterred and the 23-year old is ‘top of the shopping list’ for the Spanish coach.

Emery signed Guendouzi for Arsenal during his time in charge in North London, paying a fee believed to be in the region of £7 million plus bonuses for the then teenager. During his time with the club the Frenchman managed 82 appearances in all competitions while also spending time on loan in the Bundesliga with Hertha Berlin and then with Marseille.

Now 23-years old, Guendouzi made his loan move to the French side permanent last summer for a fee of around £9 million and has been in impressive form since. He has made 22 appearances in all competitions and scored three goals. On the international stage the midfielder has won seven senior caps for France since his debut in 2021.

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