Santamaria one for the future?

By Graham Hill

THE transfer window may be closed, but that has not stopped Villa’s major activity in the market being discussed well after the deadline has passed.

Last week, it emerged that Villa had tried and failed to sign Celta Vigo midfielder Pione Sisto.

Now French Ligue 1 side Amiens have also made it known that Villa put in an offer for midfielder Baptiste Santamaria.

But, as with Dean Smth’s attempts to sign Said Benrahma from Brentford, the move was unsuccessful.

It may well be that the deal has been put on Ice through, with Amiens keen to keep Santamaria, 24, for one more season.

The website Ninetyminutesonline reports that Olivier Pickeau, Amiens sporting director, as saying: “We closed the door. I think it’s pretty clear.

“Aston Villa made an important offer, we had a chat with Baptiste to explain the importance he had in our project and the fact that he could be allowed to leave next year.

“As a result of our exchange, we thought we would continue the adventure together, without frustration, and the correct opportunity will come.”

Villa have dismissed reports that striker Jonathan Kodjia could be on his way to Turkish side Besiktas with the window still open in Europe.

Kodjia is an injury doubt for Saturday’s clash with Bournemouth at Villa Park.

But Dean Smith has told reporters that there are no plans to sell Kodjia this month and he does not welcome any enquiries for him after failing to sign another striker along with £22million man Wesley.

There is still a question mark over keeper Lovre Kalinic though with Villa ready to let him go for around £3million after a difficult move to the Midlands last January.

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