Aston Villa missed out on French midfield aces Yohan Cabaye and Morgan Amalfitano after Gerard Houllier was forced out.

The Mirror says West Bromwich Albion star Amalfitano was actually lined up to come to Villa Park in the summer of 2011 on a bargain Bosman by then-boss Houllier.

Houllier's long-standing transfer targets were shelved as he quit the club in June 2011.

Lille midfielder Cabaye went on to sign for Newcastle and be a smash hit there, while Amalfitano instead went on to sign for Marseille in July.

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