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Villa Hope to Taye up Taiwo to Replace Want-away Warnock

According to reports from the People Gerard Houllier is keen to stave off interest from Newcastle and beat their Premier League rivals to the signing of Nigeria international Taye Taiwo. The left-back is seen as a direct replacement for Stephen Warnock who is destined to leave the club come the summer having had a major fall out with the French boss. Houllier’s ties in the French game should stand him in good stead in any potential move for the 25-year-old who is available on a pre-contract having turned down a contract renewal from the Ligue 1 side. The defender is likely to attract wide interest if he does become a free agent at the end of the season so Villa will need to move quickly to ensure a deal for Taiwo, who featured in his nation’s disappointing World Cup campaign last year. The athletic full-back offers more of an attacking threat to Villa’s current left back reserves and has impressed in France since signing for Marseille 6 years ago. An experienced international, Taiwo has appeared 44 times for Nigeria scoring 4 times. In Ligue 1 this season he has played 21 games, scoring 3 and picking up 3 assists and he also impressed in keeping Nani quiet against United in the Champions League of late. In an impressive return for a defender, Taiwo’s career at Marseille reads; Played:240, Scored: 21, Assisted: 18.

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