Zlatko Junuzovic was linked with a move to Aston Villa and despite distancing himself from such reports, but could Werder Bremen’s form see a change of heart?
A versatile attacking midfielder who has impressed at both club and international level, Zlatko Junuzovic appeared ready made for a Premier League move over the summer.
There were even rumours that Aston Villa were weighing up a bid for the player, who can operate centrally, out wide on the left or in a more attacking role, with some sources suggesting the 27-year-old had had been recommended to the club by compatriot Andreas Weimann.
Valued at around £3 million, the Austrian would have been a bargain purchase for the Midlands club, while the move would have given the midfielder a fantastic opportunity to test himself in the Premier League at the supposed peak of his powers.
Yet speaking over an interview in the summer, Junuzovic moved to distance himself from the rumours.
"I do not know anything (about Aston Villa). No one has yet come up to me with anything like that,” he told Bild.
The midfielder ultimately remained in Germany with Werder Bremen but as the clock continues to tick on towards the January transfer window, a change of heart could yet come.
Bottom of the Bundesliga following a return of just four points from their opening eight games, Bremen could not have made a much worse start.
But despite the failings of the team as a whole, Junuzovic has continued to impress with three assists to his name already this term.
Villa, by contrast, started the season brightly before a recent poor run of results to the gloss off a fine set of initial results.
With Europa League qualification still a realistic target for the Villans, Paul Lambert could yet return to the attacking midfielder, with the club seemingly in the market for a midfielder of Junuzovic’s ilk.
Young Spaniard Sergio Canales was previously linked to the Premier League outfit but with the 23-year-old largely impressing for Real Sociedad this term, a move for Junuzovic represents a more realistic prospect.
And given Bremen’s current predicament, the Austrian could be open to a mid-season exit and the chance to play in the lucrative English top-flight.
The Bundesliga side entertain Cologne on Friday in a must-win Bundesliga encounter – lose and Villa may just move a little closer to forging a deal for their forgotten summer target.