Aston Villa are looking to bolster their midfield in January and manager Unai Emery wants to rope in Arsenal defensive midfielder Mohamed Elneny, according to Sunday Mirror. Emery has previously coached Elneny during his stint as Arsenal manager and is now seeking a reunion with the player
The former Arsenal boss reportedly believes that Elneny would be a welcome addition to his Aston Villa side. Emery feels that the Arsenal man will bring more steel to Villa's midfield.
Elneny has found playing time hard to come by at Arsenal this season. He has started just three games across all competitions for Mikel Arteta's side so far this term. The 30-year-old has seen just 111 minutes of Premier League action so far this season.
Aston Villa target Mohamed Elneny facing uncertain future at Arsenal
The Egypt international has entered the final few months of his contract with Arsenal. As things stand, he could leave the club on a free transfer next summer. Hence, Arsenal is open to selling the Egyptian midfielder and is reportedly ready to accept a sum in the ballpark of £6 million for him.
Despite his struggles at Arsenal, it remains to be seen whether or not Elneny will fancy a move to Aston Villa. He endured a tough time at Arsenal during Emery's time as their manager. He only made 17 appearances in all competitions while the Spanish manager was in charge of the Gunners.
Elneny was even sent out on a season-long loan to Besiktas in August 2019 during the final months of Emery's time at Arsenal.
He has hit out at Emery in the past for not being fair during his spell at Arsenal. In an interview with Sky Sports (via TeamTalk) in April 2021, the midfielder said:
“If you are good you will play; if you are not good you will be on the bench, or you will be out of the squad. This is what I love from Mikel Arteta because it is fair. If you train good and you train hard and you are ready to play he will give you a chance to play."
“This is what I missed before with Emery. He wasn’t giving me a chance to play and that’s why I get a chance to go to Turkey and prove myself and I come back and I’m happy about myself now.”
However, according to the new report, Elneny and Emery have buried the hatchet and are keen to work with each other again.
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