Villa boss Smith lines up swoop for Algerian striker

Aston Villa

Aston Villa manager Dean Smith is reportedly interested in signing Leicester City striker Islam Slimani on loan for the rest of the campaign.

Smith is desperate to bring in attacking reinforcements before the January transfer window closes after the club confirmed summer signing Wesley will miss the rest of the season with a knee injury.

The Villans have been linked with Chelsea’s Olivier Giroud, who is expected to leave Stamford Bridge this month, and Crystal Palace’s Christian Benteke as they look to bolster their front line.

However, it appears Smith has now turned his attention to Algeria international Slimani, who is currently on loan at Monaco after joining from Leicester in August 2019.

The 31-year-old has enjoyed his temporary spell in France, scoring seven goals from 13 Ligue 1 appearances, and he recently netted the equaliser in the thrilling 3-3 draw against defending champions Paris Saint-Germain.

Despite impressing for Les Rouges et Blancs, reports are suggesting the striker is keen for another chance in the Premier League, having failed to make his mark for the Foxes since arriving in August 2016.

Slimani scored just eight goals from 35 top-flight appearances for Leicester before he was shipped out to Newcastle United on loan for the second half of the 2018/19 campaign, where he failed to score in four top-flight games.

Villa are willing to give the African another opportunity and it is claimed the West Midlands outfit have contacted Leicester about the possibility of taking him on loan.

For the move to happen, Slimani’s stint at Monaco would need to be cut short before negotiations can then enter a more advanced stage.

Villa have already been busy during this transfer window, signing goalkeeper Pepe Reina on loan from AC Milan for the rest of the season while Chelsea midfielder Danny Drinkwater has also made the temporary switch until the summer.

Smith’s men were hammered 6-1 by Manchester City on Sunday and sit 18th in the table – one point from safety. The Villans return to action on Saturday when they make the trip to the AMEX Stadium to take on Brighton.