Tim Sherwood discusses Aston Villa's pursuit of Lille midfielder Idrissa Gueye

Tim Sherwood Press Conference Smiling 12/02/2014

The Senegal international has encountered some work permit problems after agreeing personal terms but Sherwood remains confident that a deal will get done.

Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood has told Sky Sports that he is confident the club will not have any problems in pushing a deal through for Lille midfielder Idrissa Gueye.

Gueye, 25, is reported to have agreed personal terms on a four-year contract with Villa and flew into Birmingham last week to complete a medical ahead of a £9 million switch to the Midlands [h/t Sky Sports].

The Senegal international, who has also been linked with Marseille and Southampton this summer [h/t Daily Mail], has since returned to France while he waits on a work permit but Sherwood expects the deal to go through without a hitch.

Speaking ahead of the team’s first pre-season training session, the Villa boss said: “It’s looking that way, we are hoping for him to sign. We’ve got work permit issues, but I think we will be alright for that one.”

Gueye made 44 total appearances for Lille last season, while recording four goals and three assists, and also started all three of Senegal’s group games at the 2015 African Cup of Nations.

If the deal for the 24-times capped midfielder is completed, it will be the highest fee Villa have paid since the £9.5 million signing of Charles N’Zogbia from Wigan Athletic in the summer of 2011.

Having earned impressive reviews in Ligue 1 over recent campaigns, he would prove another solid addition to Sherwood’s revamped squad following the recent arrival of Micah Richards, although there remain concerns over who might be heading out the exit door.

After recovering from the aftereffects of a ruptured Achilles, Christian Benteke finished last season with 12 goals in his final 13 appearances to generate ongoing speculation about his future.

Liverpool are now reported to pursuing the Belgian striker, who Sherwood revealed ahead of the FA Cup final has a “quite substantial” release clause written into his contract – believed to around £32.5 million [h/t Sky Sports].

It now remains to be seen whether the Reds will opt to meet the required fee but, with Villa not willing to let him go for less, Sherwood is confident that the powerful forward will still be in a claret and blue shirt come the close of the summer transfer window.

“Listen we want Christian here,” he added to Sky Sports. “We want to keep our best players and Christian is certainly one of those.”

While Sherwood’s comments on Benteke should be taken with a pinch of salt at this stage, with Liverpool still to cough up the required funds after weeks of rumours, it does seem like the club are at least somewhat reluctant to spend the full £32.5 million on Villa’s star man.

Nevertheless, with Brendan Rodgers becoming more and more desperate to add a proven goalscorer to his squad ahead of the 2015-16 campaign, the speculation is sure to continue.

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