Manager Gerard Houllier, who also confirmed that Villahave made an improved £3.5m offer for Blackpool's Charlie Adam, is in Francetoday holding further talks with Lyon about Makoun and hopes to conclude a dealfor the 27-year-old midfielder that may rise to £8m on performances.
Houllier said: 'Makoun could be a good asset for usbecause he is experienced, he has played in the Champions League with Lille andLyon. He is exactly what we need at times. He can play as a holding player oras a box-to-box midfielder. We are working on [the deal].
All I can say at the moment is that there is dialoguegoing on.'
Old pals' act: Lyon's Jean Makoun could soon be playing under his former manager Gerard Houllier again at Aston Villa
'He is exactly what we need at times. He can play as a holding player or as a box-to-box midfielder.
'We are working on [the deal]. All I can say at the moment is that there is dialogue going on.'
The move for Makoun may scupper plans to sign Joey Bartonfrom Newcastle but Houllier is being backed to rebuild his squad.
A swap deal for Wigan's Figueroa and Stephen Warnock hadbeen proposed but Warnock is understood to prefer a return to Blackburn -leaving a straight cash offer for the Honduran as the only option. Villa arekeen on Colombian striker Rodallega too but Wigan would want more than the £10mthat has been mooted for the pair.
Double swoop: Rodallega (left) and Figueroa
Houllier has yet to hear whether his bid for Adam hasbeen successful but knows other suitors are in the frame with Liverpool thelatest to be linked with the 25-year-old.
Wigan, meanwhile, retain an interest in Blackburn strikerJason Roberts, 32, after agreeing to let Mauro Boselli join Genoa. Roberts isalso wanted by Queens Park Rangers who have been offered West Ham's BenniMcCarthy on loan.
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Explore more:People: John Carew, Emile Heskey, Ashley Young, Gerard Houllier, Charlie Adam Places: Lyon, Birmingham, Liverpool, France, Cameroon