Brentford defender Yoann Barbet is a man in demand as clubs become aware of his precarious contract situation at Brentford.
According to Calcio Mercato, Newcastle United have now joined Aston Villa in the hunt to sign the soon-to-be free agent.
Dean Smith wants to bring Barbet with him to Aston Villa, having worked together at Brentford for a few years.
The 25-year-old would be the ideal signing for the Villans on a free transfer, given his ability to operate as a central defender or as a left-back.
Tyrone Mings and Kortney Hause are impressing on loan at Aston Villa in central defence but there are no guarantees over whether they will join permanently.
Meanwhile, Neil Taylor has struggled on the left-side of defence and Smith will be hoping to upgrade in that department.
Barbet could fill both roles and Smith knows he can trust the Frenchman after using him at Griffin Park. But Newcastle’s interest in Barbet is a real blow for Smith and Aston Villa in their pursuit of the defender.
Newcastle could offer him an immediate route to the Premier League and the chance to work with Rafa Benitez.
Aston Villa might be able to offer him Premier League football, depending on their success in the play-offs if they make it, but Newcastle will fancy their chances of winning the race.
Unless Barbet is desperate to play under Smith again, Aston Villa might struggle to convince him to join them ahead of Newcastle/