Aston Villa expects to take a big hit as the Champions League trio swoop in on the target

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Aston Villa’s hopes of signing a highly skilled young midfielder have been hit hard after a slew of major clubs approached his signing, according to a report.

Villa has had an extremely active transfer window. The Midlands club was making waves in the market even before Jack Grealish’s £ 100m departure to Manchester City. The signings of Emiliano Buendia, Danny Ings and Leon Bailey cost around £ 30 million.

And there have been several other players who have been approached but failed to secure.

At one point, they were pushing hard to get Emile Smith Rowe out of Arsenal. The 20-year-old attracted a £ 30 million offer, but eventually signed a new deal in the Emirates.

They also tried their luck with Southampton captain James Ward-Prowse. However, the south coast club held firm and interest waned.

And now it seems that another of their goals this summer is missing.

Villa were at one point seeking to be leading the race to sign the young man from Metz, Pape Matar Sarr.

However, recent reports indicated the trio of Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City everyone was interested in making Sarr their own.

And now the latest development, as reported by Sky Sports, is that the president of Metz, Bernard Serin, had planned to travel to England yesterday to speak with the three clubs about the 18-year-old.

Pape Sarr, Metz

Serin was due to arrive at Stansted airport in the morning before heading to chat with their respective presidents.

The disputed rate is said to be around 30 million euros, so Villa is close at hand. However, they cannot compete with the supply of Champions League football like their Premier League counterparts.

At one point, Real Madrid was named in the race. But the latest reports point to it being firmly a three-horse race, with the Spanish giants not involved in the negotiations.

Smith urges thinking ahead

Meanwhile, Dean Smith has insisted that the club have surpassed Jack Grealish after his departure to Manchester City, and insists that the fans must do the same.

Villa fell 3-2 to the Hornets on the first day of the season. The score likely did not reflect game action, with Smith’s team trailing three goals behind Premier League returnees before recovering two consolation goals.

In fact, there was a real lack of creativity on Villa’s part, with the loss of grealish deeply felt. Villa had to wait until the 70th minute for his first shot on goal, just to underscore that problem.

But with some fans lamenting his lack of imagination amid Grealish’s £ 100 million outing, Smith has sent a defiant message.

READ MORE: Dean Smith in defiant message to Villa fans sighing for Jack Grealish

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