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Aston Villa told next transfer 'mission' facing Steven Gerrard after second summer signing

Birmingham Mail logo Birmingham Mail 24/05/2022 Jake Bayliss
Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard © Visionhaus/Getty Images Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard

Aston Villa have been told their next “mission” in the transfer window after completing the signing of Boubacar Kamara.

The club announced the signing of the defensive midfielder on Monday after his contract at Marseille came to an end. The 22-year-old became Villa ’s second signing of the summer already, having previously confirmed Philippe Coutinho’s move from Barcelona.

However, it has been claimed that the most immediate task facing Villa boss Steven Gerrard is to keep Ollie Watkins at the club. The England international has been reported as a possible target for West Ham in recent weeks, with fees of up to £50million quoted for the 26-year-old.

READ MORE: Aston Villa stance on Yves Bissouma emerges after Boubacar Kamara transfer

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Football transfer journalist Fabrizio Romano has claimed that Villa’s new priority, having signed Kamara, is to fend off the Hammers’ interest in Watkins. “I asked yesterday morning and the answer I received was that Steven Gerrard is now fighting to keep Ollie Watkins at the club,” he told CBS Sports’ Que Golazo Podcast .

“There are many clubs interested like West Ham, but Gerrard is desperate to keep him. That is the mission for now, and then we will see for new signings, but it will be a nice summer and Kamara is a top signing.”

When asked about Watkins’ future at Villa Park earlier this month, Gerrard made his feelings clear : "Going nowhere! If you ask me, [he's] going nowhere. Going nowhere. We love him. We're really enjoying working with him.”

Romano further suggested that the Villa boss had been a driving force behind securing a deal for the highly-rated Kamara. Having reportedly attracted interest from across Europe, the Italian journalist claimed that Gerrard was a major factor in convincing the 22-year-old to sign for Aston Villa.

“It was a really complicated one for Aston Villa because Atletico Madrid wanted him,” Romano said. “Manchester United had his name on the list but they were still waiting for different targets so it was not top of the list.

“When he had direct contact with Steven Gerrard, everything changed. He decided to accept Aston Villa’s proposal, five-year deal, so it’s a long-term one and a very good signing for Villa. It shows ambition, it shows the importance of the project and how Steven Gerrard is not just a very good manager but that it is always fantastic to have a direct relationship with players.”

Do you think Watkins will stay at Villa? Let us know in the comments section.

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