Aston Villa have their sights set on Swansea City defender Mike van der Hoorn in pursuit of a summer move, as reported by the Sun.
They report that Dean Smith is already looking at defensive improvements for next season – when Axel Tuanzebe will have returned to Manchester United at the conclusion of his loan spell – and wants Dutchman van der Hoorn.
Villa were reportedly interested in the defender during last month’s transfer window, but were quoted £10m for a player who is out of contract in the summer.
So a free swoop for van der Hoorn may well tempt Smith as Villa once more grapple with financial restraints, especially if they spend next season in the Championship as well.
But van der Hoorn has done little in his time in England to suggest that he is the defensive leader Smith would need.
He has a mistake in him and while he still has space and time to improve – and the prospect of getting him on a free would appeal – Villa need to be aiming higher.
The Dutchman is prone to overplaying and has not been able to help Graham Potter engineer enough defensive improvement at the Liberty Stadium to create the momentum needed for a promotion push.