By Anthony Onifade

22nd Aug, 2023 | 8:10pm

Aston Villa transfer news as Lucas Digne move to Nice delayed, negotiations continue to seal loan exit

Aston Villa defender Lucas Digne has seen his expected move to Ligue 1 outfit Nice delayed, according to RMC Sport.

The French publication, reporting on their live transfer blog (22 August, 18:32pm), said negotiations between the two clubs remain ongoing and optimism remains high that an agreement for a loan with an option to buy can be reached.

RMC Sport journalist Fabrice Hawkins shared on Twitter on Monday 21 August that Digne is open to a move to the French side and the clubs were trying to reach an agreement over Nice taking Digne’s full salary.

However, Digne’s move has somewhat stalled but optimism remains that a deal can be reached.

“While he was hoped for at the start of the week in the colours of Le Gym, the arrival of Lucas Digne on the Côte d’Azur will not happen so soon as expected. 

“Negotiations continue between Aston Villa and OGC Nice, and optimism reigns for an agreement for a loan with an option to buy”, the report shares.

Replacement needs sorting

Digne was rather impressive against Everton on Sunday, proving to Unai Emery that he certainly has what it takes to challenge Alex Moreno for a permanent berth in the Aston Villa team.

However, it seems as though the Spaniard has already made his position clear, despite Sunday’s performance and it will certainly be a huge relief to see his hefty wages taken off the club’s books because he hasn’t offered as much as many at the club expected.

According to WhoScored, the former Everton full-back signing has been outperformed in numerous attacking facets, in comparison to Moreno, who only spent just five months at the club. recording just 0.3 shots on goal last year compared to Moreno’s average of 0.7.

The latter also amassed an impressive average of 1.2 key passes per outing to Digne’s worrying 0.6.

But with Moreno, still on the treatment table, it would be foolish of Villa to allow him to leave without sorting out a replacement and their interest in Sevilla’s Marcos Acuna and Arsenal’s Nuno Tavares makes sense given their attacking tendencies in the final third.

Digne has proven pretty shy in that sense, as the stats show before the campaign, averaging just 0.1 dribbles per game at a dreadful rate of 21 per cent [SofaScore], underperforming his 1.92 expected assists and creating just two big chances throughout the 2022/23 season.

It’s such a shame how Digne’s career at Villa Park is coming to an end, because he arrived to such glowing and optimistic fanfare when Steven Gerrard signed him last year, but he’s instead proven to be an expensive mistake and Villa will be hoping to seal his inevitable exit rather quickly.

In other Aston Villa news, Emery may shelve the club’s plans to allow one Bodymoor Heath wonder to leave the club as his star man experiences another tough spell.