Time running out for Nakamba

Aston Villa player and Warriors star Marvelous Nakamba

MARVELOUS Nakamba could be running out of time to find suitors before the close of the transfer window amid reports yesterday that his club Aston Villa is yet to receive any formal offers for the banished midfielder.

The Warriors star has only five days left for him to find a new base after he was told by Aston Villa boss Unai Emery to leave the club in this transfer window which closes midnight on Tuesday.

Reports in England earlier this week had suggested that the 29-year-old was heading to France after it emerged that the English Premier League side was considering including him in their offer to sign Matteo Guendouzi from Marseille.

But it appears the exit plan has hit a brickwall, with the Ligue 1 side said to be against any swap and top deal, and are holding out for a fee for the former Arsenal man, believed to be worth around £30 million.

It is reported that Marseille has already drawn a list of possible replacements for Guendouzi, and Nakamba is not in the picture.

Renowned transfer journalist Fabrizio Romano reported yesterday that the French club was “closing in” on a transfer for Verona midfielder Ivan Ilic.

Romano claimed that the 21-year-old had agreed a £18m transfer and was undergoing the “final steps” ahead of his move to the Stade Velodrome.

Nakamba was left out of Villa’s trip to Southampton on Saturday and Emery confirmed after his team’s 1-0 win at St Mary’s that the Warriors midfielder did not travel so that he could sort his future away from Villa Park.

Other fringes such as Morgan Sanson and Ludwig Augustinsson have also been transfer-listed, with the former securing a move back to France where he has joined Strasbourg on loan.

“At the moment we’re speaking with some players about the opportunity to leave,” Emery said. “They know it.”

“Nakamba, I spoke with him and the idea is to leave and to take minutes in another team,” he added.

“He has to try and get back to his performance that he did here last year and two years ago, but now he doesn’t have space in the squad and he can’t wait, to stay here. He knows, and as well other players must leave.”

Nakamba, whose brilliant spell of form under Emery’s predecessor Steven Gerrard last season was cruelly cut short by an injury, has struggled for game time in the current campaign where he has fallen behind Douglas Luiz, John McGinn, Jacob Ramsey and Boubacar Kamara in the Villa midfield pecking order.

The Warriors star is yet to make an appearance for the club this term. He is going into the final two years of his contract which ends in 2024, and it appears Villa will be looking to recoup a good transfer fee for the midfielder before he enters the final year of his deal in summer.

The former Bantu Rovers star has made 58 Premier League appearances for Villa since joining from Belgian outfit Club Brugge in 2020, following the club's promotion back into the topflight.

Previously, he has been linked with a number of premier league sides including Crystal Palace, Southampton, Everton and Newcastle United, but that interest has since died down.

Spanish La Liga side Villarreal has also shown interest in him before, and was close to signing the player last year but the move failed to materialise.

Nakamba is one of the only two Zimbabweans currently in the books of English Premier League teams, alongside Jordan Zemura who plays for Bournemouth and whose future is firmly secured at the club.

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