Aston Villa have this afternoon been handed a sizeable blow in their pursuit of Japanese international forward Hiroshi Kiyotake who has recently returned from representing his country in Brazil’s Confederations Cup tournament. Paul Lambert continues to look for ways to improve the goalscoring element of his side following last season’s heroic escape from relegation in the hope his side will not be involved in such a scenario during the 2013-2014 campaign. Having already secured the signature of Danish forward Nicklas Helenius, Aston Villa have turned their attention to the quick footed Kiyotake however the Villains have been rebuffed by the German club.
Nurnberg general manager, Martin Bader has told German media that the club has turned down an approach from Aston Villa for Kiyotake and that the Japanese international was at the forefront of the club’s future plans, “I am able to confirm this transfer enquiry from Aston Villa…we have made it clear to Aston Villa we have no interest nor intention to sell the player.”
Aston Villa’s offer for Kiyotake was according to Sky Sports, rumoured to be around £7million pounds for a forward who managed just four goals in his debut season with Nurnberg. Kiyotake would add an element of pace to Aston Villa’s forward line with the Japanese international being known from his time with Cerezo Osaka as a quick winger who looks to beat a full back before cutting into the penalty area or creating a chance for a teammate.
With Helenius likely to be a target man alongside Christian Benteke provided the Belgian international stays with the club it appears that Paul Lambert is attempting to remove the pressure upon the shoulders of Charles N’Zogbia who was Aston Villa’s main attacking outlet in the wide areas last season. Should Aston Villa go back to Nurnberg with a significantly improved offer for Kiyotake then there is every chance they will be able to bring the player to the club and it is likely Lambert would go with a two pronged attack on either flank with Kiyotake on the left and Charles N’Zogbia on the right although there would likely to be numerous rotations between flanks during matches.
Hiroshi Kiyotake is contracted to Nurnberg until the summer of 2015 which means Aston Villa would have to present a significantly impressive offer to persuade Nurnberg to sell and it remains to be seen if Villa will go back in for Kiyotake or will look towards cheaper or more easily available alternatives.
The financial backing given to Paul Lambert already this transfer window by club owner Randy Lerner following the signings of Jores Okore, Nicklas Helenius and Aleksandar Tonev is likely to please Villa supporters who still expect the club to recoup around £6million from the sale of Darren Bent with the English striker not at all in Paul Lambert’s plans, as we saw throughout the entirety of the 2012-2013 campaign.
Follow Chris Winterburn on Twitter @Chriswin4