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Aston Villa and Southampton reportedly monitoring Ligue 1 defender Ghislain Konan

Aston Villa are set to face off against Southampton this summer for the signature of Stade de Reims defender Ghislain Konan.

The Daily Mail report that both Premier League clubs are interested in the left-back heading into the transfer window, with Reims valuing the 11-capped Ivory Coast international at €6m (£5.1m).

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The report also states that Konan is open to moving to the Premier League, with both Villa and Southampton likely to search the market this summer for left-backs. Ryan Bertrand has announced he will leave the Saints at the end of this season.

For Dean Smith’s side, though, they are set to lose long-serving defender Neil Taylor when his contract expires om the coming weeks, with Sky Sports reporting that Turkish side Istanbul Basaksehir and teams in Qatar and Saudi Arabia are chasing the Welsh international.

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TBR View: Southampton better positioned to sign Konan than Villa

Matt Targett has flourished in the left-back role for Villa this season, with the 25-year-old defender starting every league game this campaign and playing all but 15 minutes in the Premier League this year, and it is the former Saint’s performances that could see Southampton sign Konan over the Villains.

Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side will need a replacement for Bertrand in the summer, and given Konan’s cheap price tag and experience in a top division in Ligue 1, as well as 18 months in Portugal with Vitoria Guimaraes, Southampton are in a fantastic opportunity to sign the Ivory Coast international ahead of Villa.

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That’s not to say Villa won’t sign a left-back this summer, though. Targett has impressed in the position this season, but with Taylor set to leave, Smith will be eager to sign a backup for the fullback in the off-season that can challenge the 25-year-old defender in the position as well as cover for him should injuries arise.

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