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Aston Villa rival Rayo Vallecano for Levante midfielder Cheick Doukoure

Aston Villa boss Dean Smith is closing in on the signing of Levante midfielder Cheick Doukoure.

Smith is fighting off the attention of Rayo Vallecano to land the 26-year-old on a loan deal until the end of the season.

The Ivory Coast international is well-known to the club's new sporting director Jesus Garcia Pitarch who has strong links in the region.

The player is out-of-favour at the Valencia club and will be allowed to leave.

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