Aston Villa manager Dean Smith has improved his side’s fortunes since taking over Steve Bruce and now he is looking ahead to the summer transfer window already.
Despite not knowing whether sixth-place Aston Villa will be playing Championship or Premier League football next year, Smith has already identified some targets.
According to Calcio Mercato, both Aston Villa and Newcastle United are keen on soon-to-be free agent Yoann Barbet.
Smith could hold a trump card in this pursuit, having worked with the French defender during their time together at Brentford.
But there should be another Brentford player on Smith’s radar for the summer transfer window: Rico Henry.
The 21-year-old is the ideal long-term replacement for Neil Taylor at left-back as the Welshman has struggled at times this season.
If Henry can stay fit and fulfil his potential, then he would be a major upgrade on Taylor for years to come.
Henry joined Brentford in summer 2016 after moving from Walsall. In doing so, he followed Smith to West London and he could return to the West Midlands with Smith again.
The former England youth international has a lot of promise but injuries have halted his progress somewhat.
This season, Henry has played 12 times but he could get a fresh start at Aston Villa alongside former boss Smith and current team-mate Barbet.