Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has name-checked Aston Villa as ‘very busy’ during a press conference on Tuesday.
Premier League managers – or at least Tuchel – are taking notice of Villa after a mammoth start to their January business.
Philippe Coutinho touched down at Birmingham Airport on Tuesday as he begins his loan spell from Barcelona and Lucas Digne is reportedly in advanced talks to join from Everton.
Digne was mentioned as a potential transfer target for Chelsea, who are looking for a solution to their left-back problem following knee ligament surgery for Ben Chilwell last month.
Villa are also being linked with a move for Aaron Hickey, the Bologna left-back, and are said to be in pole position to sign Kerr Smith from Dundee United.
It is unlikely that any other transfer that could be done in January will trump the arrival of Coutinho and a potential signing of Digne would be a statement too.
Tuchel went out of his way to comment on Villa’s business when asked about his views on the January window overall.
“I don’t know if I have a good answer to this one,” he said.
“I don’t know honestly. I have the feeling that Villa is very busy and finding good opportunities to strengthen their squad. Other teams are actually maybe pretty happy with what they have. We, in general, are very happy.
“I am very happy with what we have. We struggle a bit with long term injuries so we look into the market. January is always a bit particular. Let’s see, there’s not a lot going on at the moment. In the end, I think there will be more transfers done. Actually, I don’t know how big it will be.”
Villa could also strengthen at centre-back in light of Axel Tuanzebe’s departure and boss Steven Gerrard hinted at more additions further up the pitch before his side’s 1-0 defeat to Manchester United in the third round of the FA Cup on Monday.