Report: Aston Villa join Premier League chase for FC Utrecht striker Sebastien Haller

FC Utrecht Europa League

The 21-year-old Frenchman is also said to be a January target for Bournemouth, Norwich City, Southampton and Sunderland.

Aston Villa have joined the growing list of Premier League suitors for FC Utrecht striker Sebastien Haller, according to the Mirror.

Haller, 21, joined Utrecht on a permanent deal in the summer after scoring 11 goals in 17 games while on loan from Auxerre during the second half of last season and has since carried over his impressive form into this term, netting a further 14 times in 18 total appearances.

The France Under-21 international, whose current deal runs until 2019, is now said to be in high demand across Europe but particularly in England, with the likes of Bournemouth, Norwich City, Southampton and Sunderland all believed to be chasing his signature.

The Mirror’s report even claims that Norwich are preparing a £5 million bid for the 6ft 3in front man but adds that the Canaries could face strong competition for his services from Villa and the aforementioned sides.

Villa currently sit 11 points from safety at the foot of the Premier League with only eight points and one win and manager Remi Garde has reiterated in recent weeks that he is keen to strengthen his struggling side in the winter transfer window after recording four draws and five defeats in his first nine matches in charge.

With the club scoring a division-low 16 goals in their 20 games, a new striker is believed to be at the top of the former Lyon boss’ January wishlist and he would certainly be fully aware of Haller’s qualities from his time coaching and later working as a TV pundit in his native France.

Convincing the youngster to join Villa over their English rivals will obviously not be easy given the team's current predicament, but Garde is at least said to have the financial resources at his disposal to make an enticing enough offer.

However, Utrecht manager Erik Ten Haag has stressed this week that he expects his star man to remain with the Eredivisie side for the remainder of the season, telling Dutch outlet NOS: “Sebastien Haller is a fantastic talent and it is fully understandable that a lot of clubs are after him and that is completely logical.

“But he feels comfortable here and he also feels that he is continuing to improve.

“Should we receive a mega offer for him then everything is possible, but I can’t anticipate that and I certainly can’t influence it.

“We expect that Sebastien will finish the season with us.”

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