Aston Villa closing in on Southampton raid to solve problem area; Gerrard ‘serious’ about highly rated alternative

Southampton players Jan Bednarek, Che Adams and Stuart Armstrong

Aston Villa are reportedly close to signing Jan Bednarek to solve their centre-back issues, while Steven Gerrard is ‘serious’ about an alternative defender too.

Aston Villa need to bring in a new centre-half following Diego Carlos’ Achilles injury. The £26million signing, who only recently joined from Sevilla, could miss six months of action after rupturing his Achilles. He will soon undergo surgery on the issue.

Surprisingly, Aston Villa have reduced their defensive options by allowing Kortney Hause to leave on loan. He will spend the season with Championship outfit Watford.

This means Gerrard has just Tyrone Mings, Ezri Konsa and Calum Chambers to choose from at centre-back. Clearly, this problem needs to be solved if the Villans are going to reach their ambitions.

Over the weekend, reporters detailed Villa’s interest in landing Bednarek from Southampton. A move would not be simple though, as West Ham had also set their sights on the Pole.

Gerrard’s side put themselves ahead of West Ham in the transfer race on Monday, by submitting a loan offer.

As per Football Insider, Villa want to take Bednarek on loan for the season rather than spending any money on him. They can decide on a permanent deal for Bednarek later in the campaign, depending on how he does and when Carlos returns.

An update on the situation has now arrived from Poland. According to journalist Tomasz Wlodarczyk, who has appeared on Polish channel Meczyki, Bednarek is ‘getting closer’ to joining Villa.

Jan Bednarek to reject other clubs for Villa switch

The 26-year-old has other options but is preparing to reject them and play under Villa for the remainder of the season.

Wlodarczyk says Bednarek’s time at St Mary’s is slowly coming to an end. This suggests his move to Villa could be made permanent at the end of his temporary spell in the West Midlands.

Bednarek isn’t the only centre-back reportedly on Villa’s radar. According to Birmingham Mail, who cite reports from elsewhere, Gerrard and Villa are ‘serious’ about Attila Szalai.

The Hungarian currently plays for Fenerbahce in the Turkish Super Lig. But ever since his solid performances at Euro 2020, he has been linked with a move to a bigger club and league.

Chelsea, Newcastle and West Ham have all been in contact over Szalai’s availability in the past. Chelsea were close to agreeing a deal for him in December, only for the transfer to fall through.

Birmingham Mail claim Villa have sent a £14m bid to Fenerbahce for the 24-year-old. It remains to be seen if this will be enough for Villa to reach a transfer agreement.

As Szalai’s Fenerbahce contract runs for another three years, the Turkish club will probably be able to command an even bigger fee for him.

After all, he is one of their most valuable players according to transfermarkt.

Szalai seems to be a backup option, should Villa’s pursuit of Bednarek fail. But the club have shown great ambition this summer and might move for both players if Gerrard wishes.

Meanwhile, a player thought to be on Villa’s radar is the subject of interest from La Liga, TEAMtalk understands.