‘Aston Villa have approached Southampton’ over centre-back Jan Bednarek, according to Dan Sheldon and Gregg Evans of The Athletic.
Villa may have been forced into the market for another central defender after learning that they would be without summer signing Diego Carlos for six months.
Carlos ruptured his achilles tendon on his home debut against Everton last weekend.
Bednarek, 26, has played 133 Premier League games for Southampton since he joined from Lech Poznan in 2017.
He seemingly features on a shortlist that also includes Trevoh Chalobah of Chelsea.
Sheldon wrote on Twitter that Villa have established contact with the Saints ‘over a possible deal’ for Bednarek.
‘AVFC [are] keen to replace the injured Diego Carlos’ and crucially, Southampton are ‘open to selling the defender’.
He also notes that Bednarek isn’t their only option, with Villa ‘looking at other targets’ too.
Bednarek isn’t necessarily someone who will make his presence felt in the middle third of the pitch through passing or ball-carrying, but he can make decisive contributions at either end.
He racks up a very high volume of defensive actions, ranking in the top 13 percentiles for aerial duels won, clearances, blocks and interceptions.
And he’s also a threat in the opposition penalty area, with his 0.13 non-penalty goals for 90 enough to place him in the 97th percentile (compared to fellow centre-backs).
Manager Ralph Hasenhuttl has called him ‘very aggressive’ in defensive duels but ‘calm’ in possession, and says ‘he’s a very good package as a centre-back’.
One player who might be able to endorse the Polish defender is Danny Ings, a former team-mate at Southampton.
Indeed, Bednarek says that he’s good ‘friends’ with the Villa striker, even after his move away.
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