AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - OCTOBER 23: Karim El Ahmadi (L) of Feyenoord duels for the ball with Miralem Sulejmani of Ajax Amsterdam during the Eredivisie match between Ajax Amsterdam and Feyenoord at the Amsterdam Arena on October 23, 2011 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)
Dutch television station RTV Rjinmond is reporting via their website that Feyenoord and Morocco national team midfielder Karim El Ahmadi is on his way to Aston Villa for a fee of €2.8 million pending the results of a physical. FourFourTwo's Mohammed Maollim has reported the same via Twitter. The holding midfielder is in the final year of his contract and has apparently turned down a contract extension, meaning the Eredivisie club are hoping to cash in on the player's excellent 2011-12 season.
I've not heard of this TV station nor do I know a great deal about Maollim's reliability, but there seems to be at least something real to these rumors. I watch about as much Eredivisie as I can and saw Feyenoord a few times last season and while I don't recall El Ahmadi doing anything to wow me he certainly looked like a solid player. I can also recall the announcers praising his play over the course of the season, so take that for what you will.
Something to keep an eye on, at least. Villa desperately need quality and depth in central midfield, and if they can pick up decent talent for a relatively low price tag that's going to allow Paul Lambert to make improvements elsewhere. I don't know enough about El Ahmadi to make any kind of intelligent comment on his true level of ability, but by all accounts he was one of the best at his position in the Eredivisie last season; if that's true, this look like it could be a good bit of business. Assuming it's actually happening, of course. That's kind of an important detail.