Tottenham Hotspur recently confirmed the signing of Yves Bissouma from Brighton & Hove Albion on a five-year-deal, setting them back £25m.
Aston Villa wanted the 25-year-old this summer but weren’t deemed a viable destination compared to the Lilywhites who sealed Champions League football on the final day of the season.
And then there’s Manchester City who are leading the race to sign Kalvin Phillips from Leeds United.
The 26-year-old is happy at Elland Road but is open to a big-money move, so that could be another Villa target to join another club.
Leeds wanted £50m for Phillips which would break Villa’s transfer record, but it’s unlikely he’d leave the Whites for a club only marginally better off in the Premier League.
The defensive midfielder Steven Gerrard managed to sign was Boubacar Kamara on a free transfer from Olympique Marseille, so the Villa manager’s recruitment difficulty has been laid bare.
While impressive to sign Philippe Coutinho from Barcelona and Diego Carlos from Sevilla, Villa are still losing out to a big-six club if both sides are competing over one player.
Gerrard wanted Bissouma or Phillips to be Villa’s defensive midfielder next season but may be stuck with Kamara. It’s still been a good summer of recruitment, however, so they shouldn’t be dismayed at not landing another top target.