Bournemouth could reportedly recall Harry Arter from his season-long loan spell at Cardiff City to sell him this month, according to The Irish Independent.
Watford and Aston Villa are the two teams vying for the 29-year-old’s signature on a permanent basis.
If Aston Villa could finance this deal, Arter would be the perfect central midfielder that allows them to start a clear-out in that department.
There are five central midfielders on Aston Villa’s books who Smith should consider axing: Mile Jedinak, Glenn Whelan, Conor Hourihane, Henri Lansbury and Birkir Bjarnason.
John McGinn needs some fresh faces alongside him in central midfield and Arter could provide just that.
The Republic of Ireland international can do the defensive work required in midfield, as shown by his tally of 45 blocks in 19 league games for Cardiff this season (stats via Who Scored).
According to Who Scored, Arter has also completed 396 passes in the Premier League this season, showing that he can start attacks too.
Aston Villa are desperate for reinforcements in several positions but Smith needs a major change of personnel in central midfield this month and in the summer.
Arter could work well with Scotland international McGinn, helping Aston Villa to mount a promotion push.
And his arrival could allow Smith to start getting rid of some other central midfielders.