Report: Aston Villa defender Jordan Amavi linked with return to Nice

Birmingham's Demarai Gray in action with Aston Villa's Jordan Amavi

The 22-year-old French left-back joined Villa from the Ligue 1 club last July for around £10 million.

Aston Villa's Jordan Amavi

French side Nice are interested in bringing Jordan Amavi back to the Côte d'Azur following Aston Villa’s relegation to the Championship, according to Nice-Matin.

Amavi, 22, joined Villa from Nice last summer for around £10 million after establishing himself as one of the top prospects in Ligue 1 and went on to make 12 total appearances for the Midlands club over the first few months of the season, recording three assists.

The French left-back stood out as one of the team's few bright spots amid their dismal run of results and produced some impressive statistics in the process, racking up 36 tackles, 57 dribbles, 37 interceptions and 40 crosses in 10 Premier League games, while also winning 92 duels.

Bournemouth's Callum Wilson and Aston Villa's Jordan Amavi

However, his season was subsequently cut short in November when he sustained a serious knee injury while playing for France Under-21s in a European Championship qualifier against Northern Ireland, ruling him out of action for the next nine months.

Some encouraging progress of late means the attack-minded full-back has a good chance of being fit in time for the start of next season, but there is now some considerable doubt over whether he will still be with Villa come August.

Aston Villa's Jordan Amavi in action with Manchester United's Ander Herrera

French outlet L’Equipe recently reported that Liverpool, AC Milan, Lyon and another unnamed Ligue 1 outfit have all made approaches for the ailing defender since the end of the campaign, while Nice-Matin has since alleged that the fourth team in question is his old club Nice.

The south coast side are set for Europa League football next season after finishing fourth in Ligue 1 and made an ambitious managerial appointment last month with the hiring of former Borussia Monchengladbach boss Lucien Favre, who is now said to have his sights set on re-signing their former star prospect.

There remains one major stumbling block, however, as the Villa man is believed to favour an immediate move back to the Premier League.

With that in mind, Liverpool would seem to be his likeliest destination at this point, although the Liverpool Echo has reported that suggestions of a potential switch to Anfield are wide of the mark.

Aston Villa's Jordan Amavi in action

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