By Graham Hill
VILLA are reported to have had a £6.3million bid rejected for midfielder Baptiste Santamaria – nicknamerd 4X4 – who plays for French side Angers.
Santamaria, 24, has had three seasons at Angers and is thought to be keen to move to Villa Park according to French publication L’Equipe.
But the club have apparently thrown the offer out and said it will not be enough to tempt them into selling the player.
They have described the offer as ‘insufficient’ but it seems Villa’s interest is serious as some French outlets were talking of the player signing last December.
Ex-France Under-20 international Santamaria came through the ranks at Tours in Ligue 2 where he made 90 professional starts before moving to Ligue 1 side Angers.
Since then, he has played 105 times but only scored one goal. He plays as a defensive midfielder and, if it happens, it will be yet another addition to a squad where Smith has already brought in 11 players this summer – Marvelous Nakamaba being the latest new face.
Angers conditioning coach Benoit Pickeu was quoted as saying nobody ran further in Ligue 1 last season than Santamaria, and he got his ‘4×4’ tag due to the amount of ground he can cover.
Smith seems to determined to add strength in depth to his Villa squad – with midfield seemingly a priority with Douglas Luiz and Nakamba already earmarked for the centre of the park along with Jack Grealish, John McGinn and Conor Hourihane.