Aston Villa have been dealt a huge blow in their pursuit of Olympique Marseille midfielder Matteo Guendouzi.
According to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, the Ligue 1 giants have ruled out a January departure for the 23-year-old midfielder.
Les Olympiens are keen to keep the former Arsenal man at least until the summer as they look to bolster their chances at the Ligue 1 title this term.
Marseille are currently third on the French league standings, two points behind this season’s overachievers RC Lens and five behind reigning champions Paris Saint-Germain, who are looking to retain their crown.
Igor Tudor is keen to keep his squad intact for the second half of the season, and Marseille will not let Guendouzi leave the club this month.
Guendouzi has established himself as a key part of Tudor’s squad since joining Les Olympiens on an initial loan deal at the start of last season.
He has significantly improved his game since arriving at the Orange Velodrome, accumulating nine goals and 18 assists in 82 appearances.
For context, the France international only managed one goal and five assists in 82 games during his time at the Emirates Stadium.
Upon completing his permanent move to Marseille, Guendouzi, who is known for his strong personality and confrontational nature, did not take long to clash with his new manager.
However, Marseille have no intention of letting him leave so soon despite strong interest from Villa, who could do with a few additions to bolster their improbable push for a place in Europe.
Romano also reports that Marseille will not allow Jonathan Clauss to leave either, with the Frenchman attracting interest from La Liga giants Atletico Madrid.
Clauss enjoyed a breakout season with Lens, which earned him both a move to Marseille and a call-up to Didier Deschamps’ France squad.
Atletico wanted to take Clauss on loan but switched attention to Tottenham Hotspur’s Matt Doherty after Marseille rejected their approach.
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