Aston Villa will reportedly look to secure the transfer of an experienced Premier League defender this summer to replace one current star.
Villa have enjoyed this term – their second back in the top flight – much more than their initial return. While they just avoided relegation in the last campaign, a top-half finish is in their sights this time. Captain Jack Grealish has played a vital role, with striker signing Ollie Watkins also contributing greatly.
However, Dean Smith’s side’s defence has also proved a key source of stability.
England international Tyrone Mings has played 31 of 32 Premier League games, while Ezri Konsa has played 30 of those matches.
But as Grealish‘s lengthy absence through injury has proved, Villa’s results can take a dip without their star men in the team.
Indeed, Smith admitted on Friday that his captain’s injury has reiterated the need to spend on back-up this summer.
According to Football Insider, Villa will therefore look to bring in a new ‘senior’ centre-half in the coming months.
The Midlands giants want a player from the Premier League who has the experience and potential to slot in straight away.
However, the report does not name who that player could be, or who is on the club’s shortlist.
Meanwhile, Villa will reportedly cash in on Bjorn Engels as part of the deal.
The 26-year-old is the club’s fourth-choice centre-half, behind Mings, Konsa and Kortney Hause.
However, he has only made one Premier League appearance this term and has been unable to force his way into the team.
Overall, Football Insider adds that Villa’s plan shows their ‘ambition’ as they look to progress next season.
Smith sends Villa transfer signal
Speaking in Friday’s press conference, Villa boss Smith said of Grealish and the need for transfers: “We have to make sure we are looking to improve as a squad next season, we looked at it when we got promoted and we had to build a squad from scratch pretty much.
“We bought in 13 new faces, five this season and we have to add to that squad to keep improving.
“That’s what you have to do to be a force in the Premier League.”