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Aston Villa close in on signing Lyon midfielder Jean Makoun

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Aston Villa close in on signing Lyon midfielder Jean Makoun
• Deal believed to be worth an initial £5m, later rising to £6m
• Houllier rules out Benzema bid but still wants Charlie Adam



The Aston Villa manager Gérard Houiller has held 'positive talks' with Lyon over the Cameroon midfielder Jean Makoun. Photograph: Adam Davy/Empics Sport
Aston Villa are close to completing the signing of the Lyon midfielder Jean Makoun. Gérard Houllier, the Premier League club's manager, said he had held "positive talks" with his former employers.

Villa have already agreed a deal believed to be worth an initial £5m rising to £6m. Houllier flew to France to hold talks with the player he attempted unsuccessfully to sign from Lille when he was in charge of Lyon. Now the former Liverpool manager is set to sign the 27-year-old Makoun in the next 24 hours, though not in time for the player to be involved in Sunday's derby at Birmingham City.

Houllier said: "We have had some very positive talks with the club, with the player and his representative. I hope to be able to say more soon but for the moment nothing is signed. But it is going on positively and he should have a medical in the next day or so.

"He can play as a holding midfielder or go box-to-box and it is an area where we don't have a lot of experience. The two that are playing at the moment, [Nigel] Reo-Coker and [Stilian] Petrov, we saw what happened when the two were injured at the same time.

"It is an area where we need more players and we are trying to sign quality players. When he was at Lille, I tried to sign him [for Lyon] and they signed him just after I left."

Houllier has ruled out any audacious attempt to sign the Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema, who scored for France against England at Wembley in November. He said: "I don't think Benzema will come to Villa. José [Mourinho] said he is missing strikers so how can he get rid of one of the only ones he has available at the moment? I think he is trying to sign a new striker. I didn't even dare to get in touch with José because I know the situation he is in."

Houllier remains interested in signing the Blackpool midfielder Charlie Adam despite having bids of £2.5m and £3.5m rejected. He said: "We did things the right way. We went to the club and said we were interested in the player.

"But there has not been any official reply except what I read from Ian [Holloway]. Everyone is entitled to say what they want." Holloway rejected the bids as being well short of Blackpool's valuation.

"Will we be back in for him? It is difficult to say at the moment. He knows we want him, probably. But he has got a contract with his club so I can't say more about that."

One player Houllier has ruled out any interest in is the Peterborough goalkeeper Joe Lewis and he is bemused by comments from their director of football, Barry Fry.

He said: "I was in France yesterday. I read something about Joe Lewis and the only Joe Lewis, with no disrespect to the keeper, I knew was the boxer [Joe Louis].

"Unless someone makes a hoax, I can't see anyone from the club making a bid for Joe Lewis who is probably a very good keeper.

"Is Barry Fry talking rubbish? I can tell you that no one at the club or I have put a bid in for him."

Houllier is aware of the importance of Villa climbing out of the bottom three as quickly as possible and gives them extra incentive to dispose of City.

He said: "It is another incentive to do well, first of all because it is a derby and for the fans it is very important. But also because we don't want to stay in the position we are. We know that. It is a challenge and we need to get out of this position as soon as possible."

Houllier is not looking to sign a striker this month and confirmed John Carew will play a part against Alex McLeish's Birmingham side after an eight-game absence. The Norwegian international has been improving his general fitness levels after an injury-hit start to the season. His return is timely given that Emile Heskey is suspended.

Houllier said: "I am not looking to sign a striker. Not at the moment. I'm quite happy with Emile and John Carew did extremely well this week in training. I think he will be involved at some stage in the game. Maybe he will start. I will see, but he looked fine. Now his fitness level is better
 
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Jean Makoun has failed his medical.

Cue GodCubed <)

Good player and he will make a real difference to their midfield, bringing quality and experience.
 
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Now Aston Villa can start talking business if they can sign Makoun. They already have an industrialised midfield with players in the departing Sidwell, Reo-Coker and Ireland. If they can get Makoun, he will be a good replacement for Sidwell and be a great player.

I would really like to see a creator-destroyer partnership between him and Petrov though.
 
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would be an awesoem signing, lol and I like how Houllier says he does not dare even contact Mourinho
 
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His name is Jean II Makoun

Whats with the II in his Name
Maybe his dad was also called Jean Makoun, hence he is the second.
^What he said. He is the second Jean Makoun.

Now Aston Villa can start talking business if they can sign Makoun. They already have an industrialised midfield with players in the departing Sidwell, Reo-Coker and Ireland. If they can get Makoun, he will be a good replacement for Sidwell and be a great player.

I would really like to see a creator-destroyer partnership between him and Petrov though.
I wouldn't. Petrov's great, but he doesn't have the legs to be in a two man midfield anymore, and his passing is good but not "creative" in the same way someone like Barry Bannan's is. He's reliable rather than spectacular.
 
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Will be a top signing when/if he arrives. What the **** was the Journalist on who thought up Benzema --> Aston Villa?
 
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I wouldn't. Petrov's great, but he doesn't have the legs to be in a two man midfield anymore, and his passing is good but not "creative" in the same way someone like Barry Bannan's is. He's reliable rather than spectacular.
Fair enough. He could still play in the pocket of a 4-3-3, and create from just above the defence.

Or, you could invest in Steven Defour.
 
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Fair enough. He could still play in the pocket of a 4-3-3, and create from just above the defence.

Or, you could invest in Steven Defour.
Yeah, that's what I'm getting at. Great "passer" in a passer/destroyer/creator triangle, and a good all-round player. Defour would be tasty.

Will be a top signing when/if he arrives. What the **** was the Journalist on who thought up Benzema --> Aston Villa?
Isn't it brilliant? XD I mean first Benzema, who next? Robert Pires?

Oh. Wait.
 
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#avfc Have it on good authority that Makoun is at Bodymoor Heath now for his medical. It's getting closer
IS THIS THE SLOWEST TRANSFER EVER :mad:

I want my 27 year old defensive midfielder Cameroonian!
 
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So, how long does a Villa medical take? A week or two?
Depends on how many pies the doctor is eating, or something. Grrr.

As a side note, someone "in the know" on VillaTalk has heard something regarding a striker:

The place will go in meltdown with the latest one . I am not ON a wind up and I am not going to post it as I don't believe it myself . All I will say it bears out the text from our neighbour running H and V I just think it's too much grief to post it until I get some confirmation .

First of all if we signed him I would guarantee he would get goals absolutely and would be more than pleased . Out and out goalscorer and 18 yard box man .

But I don't believe or shall I say think the rumour is not this man I may be wrong but he will have been considered . I will be amazed if the club let him go but then again ................

I know we are after a Striker but like Hodgey says no **** sherlock the difference is we have raised the bar and prepared to pay good money to get the striker in .

They are keeping this water tight because they want to wrap the deal up quickly but agents / clubs like to leak to get a bidding war going on .
Cue 20 pages of hyper-excited Villa fans speculating. I must say, this is like the anti-O'Neill era. ****** all happening on pitch, but off it really stupidly exciting.
 
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Depends on how many pies the doctor is eating, or something. Grrr.

As a side note, someone "in the know" on VillaTalk has heard something regarding a striker:



Cue 20 pages of hyper-excited Villa fans speculating. I must say, this is like the anti-O'Neill era. ****** all happening on pitch, but off it really stupidly exciting.
Wasn't Houllier signing that Jamaican striker? ;)
 
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The forward is linked to Be karim Benzema
Houllier has ruled it out in the OP. And I doubt they're going to sell Benzema when Higuain is out for the rest of the season.
 
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