Aston Villa target Steve Mandanda hints at possible move in January

Marseille goalkeeper Steve Mandanda has declined to play down the possibility of a January move to Aston Villa.

RMC is reporting that Villa manager Remi Garde will attempt to sign Mandanda, 30, and Bordeaux forward Wahbi Khazri, 24, in a bid to save their Premier League status.

Villa are currently cut adrift at the bottom of the table with only seven points from 17 matches. But Garde will try to convince the two players to move to England by including a get-out clause in their contract that would allow them to leave should the club get relegated.

Mandanda's contract expires at the end of the season, but RMC reported earlier this month that the Marseille captain's deal will automatically be extended by a year should the club qualify for the Champions League. But with Marseille in 10th place qualifying for the Champions Leagues appears a long way off.

Speaking after Marseille's 1-1 draw at Bordeaux on Sunday, however, Mandanda did not take the opportunity to play down speculation linking him with a switch to the Premier League.

He said he definitely would return to Marseille after the Christmas break but declined to say if he would still be there when the transfer window closes at the end of January.

"I'm certain to come back [to Marseille] because we restart training on December 27," he told Canal+. "It pleases you if I fuel the uncertainty and it pleases me too."

Mandanda, second-choice keeper for France behind Tottenham's Hugo Lloris, has been at Marseille since 2007.

Andre Ayew and Andre-Pierre Gignac decided to leave the club in the summer after their title challenge collapsed in the second half of last season.

Mandanda stayed on in the hope that Marseille could compete for a top three place again but at the halfway point of the campaign they are 26 points behind leaders Paris Saint-Germain.

Bordeaux are two points behind Marseille in 14th and given that the club has already bowed out of the Europa League, there is also speculation that Khazri might be tempted by a January transfer.

The Tunisia international has found the net five times in Ligue 1 this season and has also made six goals.