Aston Villa are set to miss out on Real Madrid midfielder Fernando Gago following the departure of Gerard Houllier.

The People says Houllier was confident of sealing a £12million deal for the Argentina international before he was eased out of Villa Park.

Former Liverpool chief Houllier was working from home on transfer targets, hoping to return to the training ground by August, before Villa thrashed out a pay-off and replaced him with Alex McLeish.

His chief target was Gago, 25, who has not figured under Jose Mourinho and is leaving the Bernabeu this summer - but his former club Boca Juniors are now favourites to secure his services.

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