Towards the end of English transfer window, about a week before deadline day, Aston Villa were still on the lookout for a defensive midfielder.

Eventually signing Marvelous Nakamba from Club Brugge, the newly promoted side, for quite some time, focused on Angers SCO’s Baptiste Santamaria.

A bid came in around July 29th, which we relayed from L’Equipe, but the €7m offer was rejected by the Ligue 1 side, who never set a price on the player and were just waiting to see how much interested teams valued him at.

In the end, Aston Villa looked elsewhere, and Angers’ president opened up a bit more about what transpired behind the scenes on Wednesday after the announcement that Jeff Reine-Adelaïde was being sold to Lyon.

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He told L’Equipe: “We closed the door. I think that’s been clear. Aston Villa made an important offer. We talked about it with him to explain how important he was in our project and that he would be allowed to leave next year.

“After our chat, we decided to continue the adventure together, with no frustrations, and the right opportunity will come”.

Aston Villa now know that if they still want Santamaria next year, that’s when Angers could be more accommodating and open towards selling their star midfielder.

Whether Dean Smith and co. will be interested, however, remains to be seen.