Aston Villa Reported to Have Completed Moussa Diaby Deal
The saga of Aston Villa’s pursuit of 24-year-old French international winger Mouss Diaby is done and dusted, with transfer specialist journalist Fabrizio Romano declaring today, that a five-year deal has been signed. Villa confirmed the deal an hour later.
It’s been widely reported this week that Villa had agreed to sign Bayer Leverkusen winger Moussa Diaby in a deal worth around €40m (£34.6m) plus add-ons. It’ll be interesting now to see, if the deal has been done in time to get Diaby out to the USA to join Villa’s summer camp out there, as part of the Premier League Summer Series.
Whether it’ll be in time for Diaby to participate in games or not, it will be important for him to meet his new teammates and get involved in tactical work, and of course training. [Update: Moussa Diaby is already in the USA]
Understand Moussa Diaby has signed five year deal as new Aston Villa player right now, here we go confirmed ????????— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) July 22, 2023
Huge one from owners Nassef Sawiris and Wesley Edens — Unai Emery’s plan has been key to win Diaby race. Monchi & Damián Vidagany got it done.
Top work, top signing. pic.twitter.com/whCycidF3F
Don’t Believe it Until He Holds Up The Shirt?
Here’s a picture that came in a couple of hours, after this article was originally written…
Suspicious Factors of Diaby Transfer Saga
Throughout the past week, Romano had been presenting the narrative that Villa was competing with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF)-owned Al Nassr for Diaby’s signature. It seemed rather unexpected that a 24-year-old French international would risk his position in the national team by opting for a Saudi cash grab at this point in his career. Adding to the intrigue was the fact that PIF-owned Newcastle United had shown a keen interest in the player around the same time last year. This raised some suspicions. Was there a possibility that Diaby might end up on loan at Newcastle in the near future?
If there was indeed a bidding war taking place (and it’s certainly in Romano’s interest to go along with that narrative, if Twitter is now monetarising the engagement of his 17.1m followers)), there must have been a price at which Villa would choose to walk away. They might have considered that if Diaby were to opt for the Saudi Pro League, it could indicate a bullet dodged in terms of the player’s attitude and ambition.
Aston Villa’s Advantages in Moussa Diaby Transfer Chase
Let’s be honest Aston Villa’s hand in the transfer market has only got stronger in 2023 under Unai Emery.
First off, they obviously had their Premier League status and playing European football this coming season. Under Emery’s guidance, the club has become a “good project” and true dark horse, with the potential to challenge the top six teams in the Premier League.
Diaby would have found comfort in the presence of a French legion within Villa’s ranks, including players like Lucas Digne, Morgan Sanson (at least for now), and Boubacar Kamara. This will undoubtedly aid his settling-in process. Additionally, the connections to Leon Bailey from Leverkusen and Emery’s PSG link, where Diaby played before moving to Germany, would further contribute to the appeal of joining Villa.
Most importantly, it has been alleged that the player himself expressed his happiness about the move to Villa. In fact, it appears that the deal might have been in the works for a while, with the delay primarily arising from Villa and Leverkusen working out the financial details concerning add-ons and payment plans.
Admittedly, a lot of the updates on social media by ‘transfer experts’ seemed a tad repetitive, as if to keep the engagement going, while we all waited for the clubs to cross T’s and dot the I’s.
Ultimately, why would anyone want to play alongside an aging Cristiano Ronaldo when they could have the opportunity to play alongside the prime talent of John McGinn?!