Aston Villa close to Yacouba Sylla signing

Villa boss Paul Lambert is set to sign Yacouba Sylla. Photo: PA

Aston Villa are poised to make their first signing of the January transfer window in French midfielder Yacouba Sylla, Press Association Sport understands.

Villa are set to confirm the signing of the player from Ligue Two side Clermont Foot in the next 24 hours in a deal believed to be worth around £1.7 million.

Manager Paul Lambert and chief executive Paul Faulkner have been tying up the loose ends of the deal this evening.

Lambert has identified midfield as an area he would like to strengthen and recently admitted Villa have missed the presence of Stiliyan Petrov, who is suffering from acute leukaemia.

He was priced out of a move for Moussa Sissoko, who instead joined Newcastle and set up the opening goal in Tuesday night's 2-1 away win over Villa.

Sylla, 22, is a defensive-minded player who will provide protection for the back four and also continues Lambert's trend of signing young and hungry players.

Lambert spent £23 million on new signings last summer but has only limited funds available during the current window, which closes tomorrow.

But he indicated earlier this week that he would like to bring in "one or two signings" and is on the verge of securing his first addition to the squad.