Report: Steven Gerrard has personally scouted Villa target who says he turned down Liverpool offer last year
Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard has personally scouted Duje Caleta-Car ahead of the summer transfer window.
The Daily Mail claim that Gerrard watched the Marseille defender as he prepares for his first summer at the helm at Villa Park.
Croatian international Caleta-Car has had brushes with the Premier League before, perhaps most notably with Liverpool in January 2021.
Jurgen Klopp was looking for winter reinforcements during his defensive injury crisis and Caleta-Car told Sky Sports in February 2021 he turned down a move to Anfield, having been made an offer.
Gerrard has personally scouted Caleta-Car
“It’s true that I received an offer from Liverpool,” he said last February. “I was very happy, given that they’re one of the biggest clubs in Europe. It was an honour for me to know that such a big club wanted me.
“It means that my performances are good, but we decided with [Marseille] that I was going to stay. Marseille is also a huge club that still has a lot to offer me and I have plenty more progress to make here.
“As I’ve already said, Liverpool are one of the biggest clubs in the world and I was very happy to receive an offer from them. I don’t regret the decision not to leave because I already play for a big club.
“Joining Liverpool and playing in one of the best leagues could’ve been a big step forward in my career, but I’m focused on Marseille for the moment. I’m a Marseille player and we’ll see what happens in the future.”
West Ham were heavily linked with Caleta-Car in the most recent January transfer window but once again he stayed put.
Villa could probably do with another commanding central defender who is good on the ball to help take them to the next level.
Liverpool’s interest is a barometer of Caleta-Car’s quality, and on the face of it, he should be able to do a very good job for Villa if they can get him.
We will wait to see how impressed Gerrard was with his personal scouting mission, and Villa have a habit of sealing deals under the radar of late, with Danny Ings and Calum Chambers announced without any rumours at all.
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