Villa’s first bid was worth a reported €45 million, but the Germans are holding out for a fee closer to €60m. Talks are still ongoing, with both parties looking to find common ground.
Diaby has two years left on his contract with Die Werkself but is keen on exploring other challenges abroad and has given Villa the green light to push for his signature.
Villa manager Unai Emery was the mastermind behind the club’s astonishing resurgence last term.
He rescued the Villans from relegation embarrassment and steered them towards a Europa Conference League finish.
Impressed by last season’s turnaround, the Villa hierarchy have backed Emery significantly this summer, hoping the Spaniard can help the club maintain their spot in the Premier League top seven.
Diaby has emerged as a priority target, with Emery keen to bolster his attacking ranks. But they could yet face competition from Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid and Arsenal, who are also interested.
Leverkusen had previously quoted an €80m fee for potential suitors, but with the player pushing for a transfer, they have decided to lower their astronomical demands.
Villa are looking to make Diaby their third acquisition of the Premier League transfer window after signing Youri Tielemans from Leicester City and Pau Torres from Villarreal.
Milan are open to parting ways with De Ketelaere following an appalling debut campaign at the San Siro, where he failed to open his goalscoring account throughout the season.
Villa have tabled a €25m bid for the Belgian midfielder, but the Rossoneri are holding out for a fee closer to €28m, having forked out €35m to snap him up from Club Brugge just 12 months ago.
They are also keeping an eye on Johnson following an impressive individual campaign last term. Forest want at least £40m to release their academy graduate.
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