Aston Villa coach Unai Emery has dealt AC Milan a blow ahead of the opening of the January transfer market by mentioning his desire to keep Clement Lenglet at the club.
As has been reported by Calciomercato.com, Emery’s latest press conference did not make for good viewing from a Milan perspective because the Spaniard was asked about Milan target Lenglet and his future.
The French central defender is currently on loan at Aston Villa from Barcelona, but he has not been a key player for the Villains and his appearances have mostly been limited to the Europa Conference League.
For that reason, Milan thought there was a deal to be done. It would mean Barcelona ending his loan with Villa and then agreeing a new deal with Milan, which would be complicated but far from impossible.
It seems that Emery and Villa have no extension of letting Lenglet go early from his loan, though, as the coach has been talking up his importance to the depth of the squad.
“Lenglet is a great professional. He also came to train when the players had the day off. I spoke to him and told him that I am very happy with his progress. I need him, the team needs him now. We have agreed a contract between the club and him to help us. In my opinion nothing has changed in this relationship,” he said.
It seems clear that, without a significant development, Milan will not be signing Lenglet and they will have to accelerate for targets such as Lilian Brassier from Stade Brest.