Will Aston Villa be Priced Out in Chase for Former Top Newcastle Target

Bayer Leverkusen’s Unrealistic Moussa Diaby Valuation

Go back to this time last year and Newcastle United were pondering whether to make Bayer Leverkusen’s Moussa Diaby their record signing at the time, topping the £40m they paid out for Joelinton in July 2019. Diary had an explosive season in the Bundesliga that year, scoring 17 goals and 14 assists across all competitions for Leverkusen.

Fast forward to the past week and there have been several reports that Aston Villa have been sounding out the German club in terms of the fee they’d need to pay to prise him away.

According to Sky in Germany (which was parroted by Sky in the UK), Villa had an initial offer in the region of €45 million for Moussa Diaby rejected by Bayer Leverkusen. They were reported to then have made a second bid of circa €47.5 million.

In terms of price, these reports of Villa’s smashing their transfer record seem very unrealistic in terms of the player’s valuation.

Cautionary Tale

The 24-year-old diminutive French international offers the kind of explosive pace and movement that could really make things happen on the right-hand side for Villa. While not quite hitting the heights of 2021/22, when he scored 13 league goals and notched up 12 assists, last season, he managed nine goals and eight assists.

Ironically, that was the exact same amount of goals and assists that Leon Bailey chalked up for Leverkusen in his final season (2020/21), before he moved to Villa. Is this a cautionary tale? Another player with a big price tag, that despite offering pace and a good highlight reel, has struggled with inconsistency since being at B6.

It’s with Bailey in mind, that MOMS can’t see Villa entertaining a figure around the €50m to €60m mark that Leverkusen seem to be holding out for. Diaby’s contract at the club runs until 2025, so this will be the last window for the German club to really cash in on him, but they have to get a grasp of reality.

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Reality of Situation

In a recent update by transfer journalist Fabrizio Romano, he stated that Villa’s ‘real’ opening bid was €35m (just under £30m), which is a lot more like the ballpark that Villa would entertain a deal at. The player is supposedly open to the move and it’s easy to understand why.

After finishing sixth in the Bundesliga, Leverkusen will be in the Europa League this coming season, but the difference between that and the Europa Conference League is fairly negligible for a player in reality. The only competition that would perhaps compete against the lure and money of the Premier League is the Champions League.

The only Champions League club with supposed current interest in Diaby is rumoured to be Napoli, but they haven’t made any firm approaches. Arsenal have been mentioned, but seemed to have spent their money elsewhere this window, while Newcastle’s interest seems to remain historic, with them seeing better value perhaps in Harvey Barnes.

Likewise, Villa also seem to have an alternative to Diaby in Brennan Johnson, whom may prove to be better priced and is a player who has already proven he can impress himself on the Premier League.

One thing is for sure though, Unai Emery will want to take a new forward player to the USA for Villa’s summer camp ahead of the new season. So, expect next week to heat up in terms of their interest in both Diaby and/or Johnson.

If it is to be Diaby though, Leverkusen’s price expectations will need to cool.


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