Aston Villa close to £6.5m Jean Makoun deal
Aston Villa are close to sealing a £6.5million deal to sign Lyon midfielder Jean Makoun.
Villa manager Gerard Houllier flew to his native France to hold talks with his former club yesterday over Makoun.
The signs are positive that Cameroon international Makoun is on the verge of becoming Houllier's first major signing since taking charge at Villa.
It remains to be seen whether 27-year-old Makoun would receive clearance in time to feature in Sunday's derby at Birmingham should a deal be struck.
Houllier has already admitted Makoun would be a major asset if he joins Villa.
He said: "Makoun could be a good asset for us because he is experienced, has played in the Champions League with Lille and Lyon.
"He is exactly what we need at times. He can play as a holding player or as a box-to-box midfielder."
Houllier remains interested in signing Blackpool captain Charlie Adam after making an improved £3.5 million bid, although Ian Holloway has said he will only sell to a top-four club.
The Frenchman is also looking for a long-term replacement for veteran goalkeeper Brad Friedel, but Villa have denied reports they have made a formal bid to sign Peterborough's former England Under-21 stopper Joe Lewis.
Chief executive Paul Faulkner said: "The simple truth is we haven't made a bid for the Peterborough goalkeeper."
Former Liverpool boss Houllier is also keen to bring in a new striker during January.
Latest in Sport
Arsenal vs Aston Villa preview: I need to prove myself again at Villa, says Scott Sinclair
Transfer news and rumours LIVE: Juan Cuadrado to Chelsea, Cristiano Ronaldo to Manchester City, United want Gareth Bale
Chelsea vs Manchester City player ratings: David Silva saves the day but which City star stole the show at Stamford Bridge?
Arsene Wenger photobombs Arsenal photo shoot - manages to look like famous 'Bigfoot' picture
Kim Sears 'swearing' outburst threatens to overshadow Andy Murray's Australian Open semi-final win
- 1 Three-year-old boy shoots pregnant mother and father in New Mexico
- 2 Stephen Fry explains what he would say if he was 'confronted by God'
- 4 Gorillaz Phase 4: Cartoon supergroup is back as new artwork is unveiled
Stephen Fry explains what he would say if he was 'confronted by God'
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse
President Putin is a dangerous psychopath - reason is not going to work with him
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia