Aston Villa are “hoping to complete” a deal for Tanzanian striker Mbwana Samatta from Belgian club Genk, according to reports.
The 27-year-old was a reported target of Villa last summer, but a deal failed to materialise. However, with the current injury crisis afflicting the struggling Birmingham-based club, Dean Smith has renewed his interest in the frontman.
Are Villa about to make their 15th signing this term? Five things to know…
- It certainly seems that way according to BBC Sport, with Villa thought to be on the verge of a £10m deal.
- If the transfer goes through, Samatta will become the first Tanzanian player to appear in the Premier League.
- Smith is desperate for attacking reinforcements following a season-ending injury to Wesley.
- Samatta scored against Liverpool in the Champions League group stages earlier this season.
- The 27-year-old would certainly add greater firepower to Villa’s frontline but the club remain languishing in the drop zone and are 8/13* to go down this season.
Villa are thought to be closing in on a deal to sign Samatta for a fee of £10m, bringing the club’s total outlay this season to over £150m.
Smith has been actively looking to bolster his attacking ranks this winter window following a season-ending injury to Wesley on New Year’s Day against Burnley.
The 48-year-old has already acquired the services of experienced Premier League duo Danny Drinkwater and Pepe Reina on loan until the end of the campaign from Chelsea and AC Milan respectively.
In order to facilitate a move for Samatta, Villa could be willing to allow Jonathan Kodija to leave the club this January, with interest from the Championship gathering pace.
Subscribe to Squawka’s Youtube channel here.
The Villans are currently struggling in the Premier League and sit perilously in the relegation zone after 22 games, having conceded the second-most goals of any club this season (43).
There has also been reported interest in Leicester City forward Islam Slimani, who is currently on loan with Monaco, but a deal for the Algerian now looks unlikely.
With a tough second half of the season now underway, Villa will need to transform their fortunes if they are to stave off the threat of relegation, and that could mean taking one or two risks in the market this month according to Smith.
“January is even harder without recognised strikers as clubs can stick prices up a bit, it always has been a tough window and we have to take a couple of risks,” said Smith.
“I’m calm and confident we will get players but we have big games and, if we don’t get one in by Saturday, it’ll be the third in row without a recognised striker.
“We have to make sure we do the best we can without and hope we can get one through.
“There is a necessity there. With Wesley getting injured and Keinan [Davis] being out we have to strengthen massively so we are looking for a couple.”