Aston Villa agree £15.5m transfer for Morgan Sanson days after Marseille boss Andre Villas-Boas slammed 'pathetic' bid

ASTON VILLA have agreed to pay Marseille £15.5million to sign French midfielder Morgan Sanson – three days after Marseille boss Andre Villas-Boas branded a £14.25million package as ‘pathetic.’

However Villa’s recruitment team, led by Danish talent-spotter Johan Lange, threw in an extra £1.5million in potential add-ons to seal a deal.

The 26-year-old is expected to become Dean Smith’s first – and probably last – signing of the January transfer window when he flies into the UK next week to sign a four-and-a-half-year contract.

Villa don’t expect to untangle the red tape surrounding the deal in time for Sanson to make his debut against Burnley in midweek.

However, they are hopeful he could play some part in Saturday’s trip to Southampton.

Marseille tried to play hardball, initially demanding £22million for the former Arsenal, Spurs and West Ham target.


But the collapse of French football’s premier TV deal has forced the hand of many clubs, whose bean-counters are now nervously calling for assets to be sold to cover the cost of the Covid crisis.

Sanson helped Marseille finish runners-up to PSG last season, scoring five goals and providing five assists.

Smith sees him as a direct replacement for Conor Hourihane who was allowed to join Swansea on loan earlier in the week.

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