Aston Villa keen to sign Jean Makoun and Charlie Adam

Aston Villa manager Gerard Houllier has revealed he is working on a deal to sign midfielder Jean Makoun from his former club Lyon in a £6m deal.

Houllier will fly to France to speak to Lyon about the prospects of capturing the 27-year-old Cameroon player.

“He can play as a holding player or as a box-to-box midfielder,” Houllier said. “We are working on [the deal].”

Houllier also remains interested in signing Blackpool captain Charlie Adam after making an improved £3.5m bid.

Villa’s first offer of around £2.5m was rejected, with Birmingham City and Liverpool also reportedly interested in acquiring the Scot.

“It is true that he [Adam] is a player that we like. His passing is very good,” said Houllier.

It would appear, however, that Makoun is the Frenchman’s top target as he looks to strengthen his squad in a bid to lead Villa away from the relegation zone.

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“Makoun could be a good asset for us because he is experienced, he has played in the Champions League with Lille and Lyon,” said Houllier. “He is exactly what we need at times.

“All I can say at the moment is that there is dialogue going on.”

Meanwhile, the former Liverpool boss played down speculation that Norway striker John Carew could leave the club – despite the fact that he would like to add a forward to the squad as well this month.

Carew has been linked with a move to West Bromwich Albion, but Houllier said: “If the opportunity is there [to sign a striker], then yes, but you don’t find them easily.

“It depends on what is going to happen but I think John will stay for the moment.”