By Anthony Onifade

4th Aug, 2023 | 7:10am

Aston Villa transfer news as Al-Hilal press ahead to sign Lucas Digne

Saudi Arabian side Al Hilal are interested in signing Aston Villa left-back Lucas Digne this summer, according to the Daily Mail.

The newspaper has reported on its website (3 August) that Al Hilal, who have already captured the likes of Kalidou Koulibaly and Ruben Neves, are pressing ahead with a deal to sign the Frenchman, who is unlikely to be part of boss Unai Emery’s first-choice starting XI.

It is believed that Emery plans to utilise new signing Pau Torres at left-back at certain points this season, especially with Alex Moreno on the treatment table, and that could open the door for Digne to depart.

May be tempted

Digne is one of the biggest earners at Villa Park, so getting him off the books could help with new targets ahead of the return to European football next season.

The Frenchman simply hasn’t impressed during Emery’s tenure at Villa Park and the next few weeks could actually be his most crucial at the club to stake a claim and show his qualities, with Moreno out for the first few Premier League games.

However, given the raft of players from the English top-flight choosing to seek pastures new in Saudi Arabia because of the money, Digne may well feel the opportunity is too good to turn down.

Also, Villa may look at his potential sale as a huge chance to boost other areas of the pitch and the desperation at which Saudi clubs are throwing money around these days, the Villans could well get a healthy fee for Digne.

The club spent a lot of money on him when he joined 18 months ago in a £25m deal but the former Everton full-back is yet to show why former boss Steven Gerrard splashed the cash on his signature.

With Torres potentially proving a valued option in Moreno’s short absence at left-back, it won’t be a surprise to see Aston Villa allow another full-back to depart despite being short of options right now.

Digne’s time in the West Midlands may well be coming to an abrupt end.

In other Aston Villa news, one Villa Park defender will have forced Emery into an easy decision heading into the new campaign after what he did in pre-season.