On Thursday, things were looking up for Aston Villa, as Harold Moukoudi was reportedly in Birmingham to hold talks with Steve Bruce about a possible loan with a view to buy deal.

Expected to cost the club around €10m, the transfer would have taken the 20-year-old centre-back from Ligue 2, where he currently plays with Le Havre, to the Championship to help his career progress, but there was a bit of a problem.

Despite meeting with the Villa staff, Moukoudi was said to be preferring a stay in France to further his development rather than moving abroad, leaving it up to Bruce to convince him otherwise.

Unfortunately for the Villains, that wasn’t enough, as France Bleu journalist Bertrand Queunette reports Moukoudi has turned down the important offer from the Championship club, and has informed the Le Havre president, Vincent Volpe, of his decision.

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That means, that, for the time being, he will be staying with the Ligue 2 club.

However, Lyon are said to be circling, according to a few reports in France, so perhaps that might be a preferential landing spot for the centre-back.