Jordan Veretout’s transfer from Aston Villa to Saint-Etienne is on hold after Serie A side Fiorentina made a late bid to hijack the move, according to French publication L’Equipe.
The report claims that the midfielder was due to travel to the Ligue 1 club on Wednesday for a medical and to put pen to paper on a four-year contract, but failed to show.
Fiorentina are looking to land the 24-year-old as a replacement for Matias Vecino, after Sky Sports reporter Fabrizio Romano revealed on Twitter that the Uruguayan is on the verge of a move to Inter Milan.
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) July 19, 2017
Italian journalist Alfredo Pedulla claims that Veretout’s move to Viola is all but agreed and he will make the switch for a fee of €7 million (£6.2 million) on a five-year deal.
This would constitute a major blow for Saint-Etienne, who were impressed with the France under-21 international during his loan spell at Stade Geoffroy-Guichard last term.
Veretout was a regular starter for Les Verts, chipping in with four goals and five assists in 43 appearances across the campaign as his side finished eighth in the French top flight and reached the knockout stages of the Europa League.
He was part of the Villa team that were relegated from the Premier League during the 2015-16 season and whilst some fans were hoping he would be kept on to help their Championship promotion bid, it seems that his time in England is drawing to a close.
With Veretout looking certain to depart one way or the other in the coming days, manager Steve Bruce may look to reinvest the funds in his squad ahead of another long campaign in the second tier.
The Villans kick off with a home fixture against Hull City on August 5 and will hope to lay down a marker after a disappointing 13th-placed finish last time around.