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Aston Villa: Steven Gerrard’s side favourites to sign James Tarkowski

Aston Villa: Steven Gerrard’s side favourites to sign James Tarkowski -Aston Villa News

Aston Villa are in pole position to sign soon-to-be free agent James Tarkowski, according to The Athletic

The lowdown

The 29-year-old is departing relegated Burnley this summer as he reaches the end of his contract at Turf Moor.

The Telegraph‘s Jason Burt had previously written that it was Everton and not Villa who were leading the race for his signature, while Football Insider claimed that Frank Lampard’s side had already presented the defender with a £120,000-per-week contract offer.

However, it seems that Villa are intent on further strengthening their defence after the arrival of Diego Carlos from Sevilla last week, having already secured deals for midfielders Phillipe Coutinho and Boubacar Kamara earlier in the month.

The latest

In a jointly-written piece for The Athletic, Patrick Boyland and Greg O’Keeffe claimed that Everton are one of ‘several’ clubs who are interested in Tarkowski.

Lampard’s admiration for the centre-back dates back to his time as Chelsea manager, but the 43-year-old may miss out on his transfer target.

That’s because the Toffees face ‘substantial competition’ from Villa, who are described in the article as the ‘early favourites’ for Tarkowski.

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The verdict

Gerrard seemingly wants to overhaul the heart of his defence.

Football Insider reported at the end of February that he had sanctioned the sale of Ezri Konsa after growing concerned about the 24-year-old’s reliability and consistency. Meanwhile, transfer insider Dean Jones said that ‘it will be interesting to see how things pan out’ with Tyrone Mings, which may suggest that the captain’s future is far from secure.

Having already signed Carlos, Villa have been linked with both Tarkowski and Rangers’ Calvin Bassey, who is valued at £25m by Gerrard’s former club.

However, the Burnley man may be the better option of the two, not just because Villa could avoid a hefty transfer fee. His vast Premier League experience (194 games) is surely a significant factor as well.

Indeed, The Telegraph’s Matt Law believes that the 29-year-old would be a ‘fantastic signing‘ for the Midlands club, who may land themselves a real coup on a free transfer for a proven operator at this level.

In other news, read this transfer insider’s claim on a midfield target.

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Article title: Aston Villa: Steven Gerrard’s side favourites to sign James Tarkowski

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