Aston Villa have confirmed the arrival of winger Bertrand Traore from Lyon, with the Premier League outfit paying in the region of £20m for his services.
The 25-year-old made 35 appearances in all competitions for Lyon last season, but managed just four goals and five assists. Despite his somewhat underwhelming 2019/20 campaign, Traore attracted interest from a number of Premier League clubs this summer – including Crystal Palace, Newcastle and Fulham.
But it’s Aston Villa who have won the race for his signature, with the news being confirmed on the club’s official website. The Villans initially bid around £15m for his services, which was rejected, but they later returned with an improved £20m offer – which has proven to be enough.
Speaking after the deal had been confirmed, Villa boss Dean Smith said: “We’re delighted that Bertrand has chosen to come to Villa. He’s a player with immense talent who will really enhance our attacking options.”
Traore, meanwhile, has alluded to the fact that he will be surrounded by some familiar faces – notably John Terry, as the pair know each other from their Chelsea days. He told VillaTV: “I’m very happy to join Aston Villa. I’m happy to be here. I played with John Terry at Chelsea, I spoke to him.
“I spoke to the manager, spoke with the Sporting Director as well and some players I used to play with – [Marvelous] Nakamba and [Anwar] El Ghazi. I spoke to Nakamba, I talked to him a little bit about the club. Many things made me take the decision to come here.”
Having now returned to the Premier League, Traore will be keen to prove a point and considers Villa to be the ‘right place’ for him. Traore actually underwent his medical tests earlier this week, but the official announcement had been delayed due to delays caused by his application for a work permit.
The Burkina Faso international joins Matty Cash, Ollie Watkins and Emiliano Martinez in making the switch to Villa Park this summer as Smith continues to bolster his squad.