As of Tuesday, Chris Mepham is a Bournemouth player.
The Cherries paid £12 million to sign the Welsh international centre-back from Brentford. But, according to The Sun (23 January, page 51), Aston Villa were also keen on Mepham and even offered him better terms – and promised to pay The Bees a bigger transfer fee.
Despite landing Kortney Hause on loan from Wolves with an option to buy, it seems that Villa boss Dean Smith wants one more centre-back and the 21-year-old has established himself as one of the Championship’s best in the last 12 months.
However, it seems that the chance of playing Premier League football under a manager like Eddie Howe, who is renowned for his trust in youth and ability to improve raw talents, was too good to turn down.
The Sun claimed last week that Mepham rejected an offer from another South Coast club, Southampton, because he wanted to play for a coach who has turned Callum Wilson, David Brooks, Josh King and co into proven top flight stars.
Fortunately for Villa, however, missing out on Mepham could open the door for them to sign Bournemouth’s Tyrone Mings instead.