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Steven Gerrard is understood to have personally flown to Spain to watch Atletico Madrid midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia in action against Manchester City, according to reports. The Aston Villa boss has already proved he can attract big names since replacing Dean Smith, adding former Barcelona duo Philippe Coutinho and Lucas Digne to his squad in January.
And Gerrard is showing no signs of slowing down his recruitment drive as he looks to establish Villa as a top-half side once again.
Results have not been of the required standard after Villa’s early purple patch under their new boss, sparking doubts as to whether many of the club’s current squad are up the task.
According to Birmingham Live, Gerrard was in attendance at the Wanda Metropolitano earlier in the week to watch Atletico ball-winner Kondogbia in action.
The former Valencia and Inter Milan ace has enjoyed a revival under Diego Simeone this season, prompting Villa to take a closer look ahead of the summer transfer window.
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He was excellent against City, embodying the fight and mettle of Atletico, who failed to force their way back into the tie before disgracing themselves after the full-time whistle.
There is also a chance that Gerrard may have been watching his former team-mate Luis Suarez, who came off the bench late in the second half.
Suarez is out of contract at the end of June with Gerrard thought to be keen on a potential reunion with his former Liverpool team-mate.
Ajax are also understood to be in the running as well as several Brazilian sides.
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Gerrard is looking to add another defensive midfielder to his ranks with Douglas Luiz expected to leave the club this summer.
Villa had opened talks with the Brazilian over a new contract after rejecting three January bids from unnamed sides.
Yves Bissouma is also of interest to Villa with Brighton expected to cash in at the end of the campaign.
The Mali international was the subject of a £25m from Villa in January that was rebuffed.
However, the former Lille man is now approaching the final year of his contract, which could force Brighton into an unwanted sale.
The Madrid venture was not the first time Gerrard has been on a scouting mission in recent weeks.
Last Thursday he was also at the King Power Stadium to watch Leicester’s 0-0 draw with PSV Eindhoven.
Former Spurs youngster Noni Madueke was the man of interest with Leicester also thought to be keen on a deal.
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