French newspaper L’Equipe have claimed that Stade Reims defender Bjorn Engels could be about to join Aston Villa this summer, with the Midlands club in advanced talks with the French club.
Engels, 24, joined Stade Reims on loan last summer from Greek outfit Olympiacos and clocked up 35 appearances for the Ligue 1 outfit. He helped them keep 13 clean sheets and even scored against SM Caen.
The defender completed a permanent move to Reims this summer, with the loan deal including a permanent option. However, that move could end just as it has started with Villa said to be in advanced talks for the Belgian ace.
Making his name at Club Brugge prior to his short spell at Olympiacos, Engels worked his way into the Belgium squad after 97 appearances with Brugge – in which he showed he could play at centre-back or in midfield.
Engels is not the only Stade Reims player Aston Villa are after this summer, with France Football claiming Villa want goalkeeper Edouard Mendy. Engels was linked with a move to Arsenal, by The Sun, in 2017.
TBR’s view – Villa need Engels the midfielder, not the defender
Villa announced the signing of Ezri Konsa on Thursday, which now sees the newly-promoted side boast four centre-backs in Konsa, James Chester, Tyrone Mings and Kortney Hause. They no longer need a centre-back.
But after offloading both Glenn Whelan and Mile Jedinak on a free transfer earlier this summer, a holding midfielder is required. Leeds United star Kalvin Phillips is the club’s top target.
However, Leeds want a huge £30million for their academy product. If Engels is willing to revert to his previous holding midfield position, then he could improve Villa. But if he is targeted as a centre-back, then he is not needed.