Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard is ‘very optimistic’ that he will be able to welcome an eye-catching centre-back to Villa Park during the summer window, according to transfer insider Dean Jones.
Gerrard was appointed as the Midlands outfit’s head coach last November and, ahead of his first full season at the helm, the 41-year-old could look to add reinforcements to his squad with the club said to be on the verge of signing Philippe Coutinho on a permanent deal.
What central defenders have Villa been linked with?
Gerrard has been forced to go back to the drawing board after it was revealed that Borussia Monchengladbach star Matthias Ginter rejected a move to Villa in favour of securing a summer switch to Bundesliga side Freiburg.
According to Turkish media outlet Tum Spor, Villa are monitoring Galatasaray ace Victor Nelsson closely ahead of potentially testing his current employers’ resolve.
The report suggests Villa Park representatives have been scouting the four-cap Denmark international and they are expected to lodge a lucrative offer when the transfer window reopens.
Meanwhile, Gerrard has reportedly set his sights on persuading Liverpool centre-half Joe Gomez to swap Anfield for the Midlands.
But Villa may find it difficult to strike a deal as the Merseysiders are looking to fend off interest by tying Gomez down to a new contract.
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What has Dean Jones said about the situation?
Jones understands that Villa are increasingly confident that they will be able to get their hands on a new central defender ahead of next season.
The transfer insider feels Gerrard should be seeking to improve his options in each position when the window reopens in the summer.
Jones told GIVEMESPORT: “Villa certainly need a centre-back and I think that they’re very optimistic that they’ll sign somebody good.
“Steven Gerrard’s main goal has got to be to upgrade in every position.”
Why is Gerrard wanting to sign a new centre-back?
Gerrard has set himself a long-term goal of guiding Villa into European football, but his side appear to be a long way from reaching that target.
Villa may be in mid-table at the moment, but they are closer to the Premier League’s relegation zone than the European qualification spots when taking the points on the board into consideration.
Gerrard currently has four central defenders – Tyrone Mings, Ezri Konsa, Calum Chambers and Kortney Hause – at his disposal, but bolstering his options at the heart of his backline could go a long way towards enjoying an improved season at Villa Park next time around.