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Lyon coach Rudi Garcia has confirmed Bertrand Traore is leaving the Ligue 1 giants amid claims Aston Villa have won the race for his signature, speaking to Made In Foot.

In truth, the writing has been on the wall for the former Chelsea youngster since a former Lille and Marseille coach was given the keys to the Stade OL in autumn last year.

Traore had scored 31 goals in his first two seasons in French football but, as soon as Garcia was unveiled, the Burkina Faso international found himself welded to the bench.

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The 25-year-old finished 2019/20 with a single Ligue 1 strike to his name and watched on from the sidelines as Lyon reached the semi-finals of the Champions League for the first time in a decade, failing to feature in those famous triumphs over Manchester City and Juventus.

And when Aston Villa made it clear they were willing to pay £19 million for a man who couldn’t get a start under Garcia, Lyon have leapt at the chance to cash in.

The Daily Mail claims Traore will sign a three-year deal ahead of a return to England and is set to undergo a medical in Denmark – home of Villa’s new sporting director Johan Lange.

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“Bertrand will not be there, he is in the process of leaving,” Garcia says, ruling the forward out of Tuesday’s clash with Montpellier.

A left-footed right winger who loves to make perfectly timed runs behind an opposition defence before finishing in style, Traore shone as Ajax reached the Europa League final in 2017.

If the attack-minded Dean Smith can give him the freedom as part of a new-look Villa forward-line, that £19 million price tag could look a bargain.

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