Aston Villa are set to seal the £19 million signing of Bertrand Traore, but Dean Smith has revealed that forward Wesley may not return from his knee injury until next year. Wesley, the £21 million buy, sustained a serious anterior cruciate ligament injury on New Year’s Day against Burnley and Smith has admitted the Brazil international is nowhere near a first-team comeback. The 23-year-old was Villa’s joint-record signing last summer from Club Brugge, scoring six goals before being ruled out for the season. Villa have replaced him this month with Ollie Watkins for a club record £28 million while Traore, the former Chelsea winger, is close to completing his return to the Premier League from Lyon. Smith, the head coach, is targeting another forward before the transfer window closes after conceding that there is no scheduled return date for Wesley. When asked if Wesley’s return was likely to be near the end of the year, Smith said: “Certainly. We believed it was going to be a 12-month injury and nothing has told us otherwise yet.
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