Aston Villa endured a relatively quiet January transfer window as Unai Emery only brought in two new signings - Jhon Duran and Alex Moreno from Chicago Fire and Real Betis respectively.

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One player the club were reportedly interested in signing last month was central midfielder Matteo Guendouzi but Johan Lange and the head coach opted against a move for the Frenchman in the end, with a return for him in the summer possibly on the cards.

It was reported that Marseille were looking for a fee in the region of €50m (£45m) and Villa were seemingly unwilling to cave into the French club's demands.

When asked if the club could reignite their interest during the summer window, journalist Dean Jones told GIVEMESPORT: “It wouldn’t surprise me if the link came back onto the radar.

“I’d say it also depends how Marseille’s season plays out. I think they had a reasonably good transfer window themselves, and it might be quite an exciting place for him to be.”

Emery could now land his next version of Dani Parejo by securing a deal to sign Guendouzi from the Ligue 1 outfit ahead of the 2023/24 campaign.

The Spanish midfielder played for the Villa boss at Valencia and Villarreal and racked up a whopping 145 appearances in the middle of the park - making him the head coach's fifth most-used player in his career.

Parejo, 33, is a combative central player who also has the quality to open up defences and create chances for his teammates on a regular basis. In LaLiga this season, the gem has made 2.4 tackles and interceptions per game and created 1.4 chances per match - after assisting ten goals and making 2.2 defensive contributions per outing last term.

Guendouzi, meanwhile, has made 2.0 tackles and interceptions per match and assisted three goals in Ligue 1 in 22/23 - having chipped in with 1.6 interventions per game and assisting eight goals in the French top-flight last season.

They have also both averaged seven progressive passes per 90 over last 365 days, a fact that indicates, along with their statistics over the last 18 months, that they have similar play styles in midfield, albeit Parejo has performed to a slightly higher level.

Both are combative in the sense they are willing and able to get stuck in to win the ball back for their side whilst also providing quality in possession by consistently assisting goals and creating opportunities for others.

Therefore, Guendouzi, who Alan Hutton claimed would "bring fire" to Villa's midfield, could be Emery's next version of Parejo if the coach can help the 23-year-old - who is ten years younger than the Villarreal maestro - to continue to develop and increase his defensive and creative output.