Aston Villa want to sign Club Brugge’s Zimbabwe international midfielder Marvelous Nakamba, according to reports – but German side Cologne have jumped to the front of the queue after beginning talks.
The 25-year-old midfielder played 23 times for Brugge last season alongside Villa new boy Wesley Moraes and featured in the Champions League on five occasions.
Nakamba is currently in Egypt representing his native Zimbabwe at the Africa Cup of Nations – he featured in the 1-0 defeat to the tournament hosts last month, but missed the draw with Uganda and the defeat to DR Congo because of injury.
A whole host of sides in Serie A had sent scouts to Egypt in the hope of gathering some more information on Nakamba, but his absence through injury put a spanner in those particular works.
Representatives from Fiorentina, Atalanta, Torino and Sampdoria had all hoped to take a closer look at the 25-year-old who is valued at around £20m.
Club Brugge were also hoping he performed well at the tournament to help boost his value. Nakamba has two years left on his contract.
Villa were made aware of his summer availability by his agent who is trying to arrange a move, and he has emerged as a potentially cheaper alternative to Villa target and Leeds midfielder Kalvin Phillips.
Now, though, reports in Belgium claim that Cologne have made the first move.
Dean Smith is looking for a midfield enforcer after releasing both Glenn Whelan and Mile Jedinak and reportedly holds an interest in Nakamba.
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