Aston Villa failed with a bid to sign this player – but he will be available next summer
Aston Villa head coach Dean Smith had a summer that most bosses across the country would be envious off.
He managed to completely rebuild his newly promoted squad, signing 12 players and spending well over £100m in the process.
One area that Smith identified as an area to upgrade was in the centre of his midfield. He did manage to bring Marvelous Nakamba and Douglas Luiz to B6, but one target that he reportedly failed to land was Baptiste Santamaria.
And now Angers president Olivier Pickeu has opened up on why the club managed to convince the talented midfielder to remain with the French club, despite interest from Villa and the Premier League.
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.”
Interest from West Ham was also reported from these shores, as well as a number of suitors on the continent.