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Villa in Link to Rennes Keeper Nicolas Douchez

Villa manager Gerard Houllier has been credited with an interest in 30-year-old French compatriot and Stade Rennais keeper Nicolas Douchez. The club are thought to be desperately seeking a long-term replacement for veteran keeper Brad Friedel who turns 40 in May and could well leave the club come the end of the season when his current contract expires. The American stopper has been linked to a number of clubs in Europe as well as a move back to his homeland and the MLS after reportedly growing frustrated over Houllier’s reluctance to offer him a new contract despite continuing to impress for the most part of the season. Douchez joins a long line of touted interests after French magazine L’Equipe suggested that Villa failed with a move for him in January. However, the report suggests that the player would have rejected any offer from Villa despite the fact that his contract is also set to run out in the summer.

I haven’t really heard of the guy to be honest but his record with Rennes this season is more than impressive. In 27 games for the club in all competitions this year, the club’s defensive line, backed by Rouchez, have conceded just 19 goals, picking up an outstanding 14 clean sheets in the process. Rennes currently sit just 3 points behind Ligue 1 leaders Lille OSC in second place. Puts Villa’s record at the back into perspective from this season!

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