Report: Aston Villa transfer target Keita Balde Diao has no passport, potential stumbling block

SS Lazio fans

The Lazio striker is up for sale in the Italian capital.

Yesterday it was reported in Italy that Aston Villa had become the favourites to sign promising talent Keita Balde Diao from Lazio. It was reported that Villa had made a £7 million move for the player, and that Lazio wanted £10.7 million for his services – as reported by Football Italia.

Diao has been transfer listed by the club earlier in the week after a huge fall out with the club president Claudio Lotito. The controversial striker is known for being something of a troublemaker – but he is also immensely talented.

Now it is reported by Corriere dello Sport that the deal to sign the player looks on, but Villa have a serious problem to contend with – Keita does not have an EU passport.

The report claims that Diao has never received a passport for Spain or Italy, despite his long-term residence in both countries.

He was born in Spain to Senegalese parents. He then left the Barcelona youth academy after a row with the club, joining Lazio in 2011. Despite this no passport is present and he is technically a non-EU player who would struggle to obtain a work permit under current FA rules.

The report claims Villa could agree a deal with the player but that it may not be ratified until after the Transfer Deadline shuts at the end of the month.

Villa are still in the hunt for another striker after their pursuit of Emmanuel Adebayor ended in disappointment.

Keita would be a fantastic buy but continues to look like an increasingly difficult signing. It remains to be seen if Villa have the patience to complete the deal.

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