Aston Villa will look to target a new defender to ease their crisis at the back in January.
Dean Smith will have the opportunity to tailor the squad to meet his needs in the upcoming transfer window with the Villans chasing a return to the Premier League. Reports suggest that the new Villa owners will back their manager significantly in the forthcoming window in order to boost their chances of leaving the Championship at the end of the season. Villa have already confirmed one transfer, securing the signature of Genk goalkeeper, Lovre Kalinic, for around £6m.
Smith will aim to sign a new defender given the number of injuries currently plaguing the Villa squad. Axel Tuanzebe is facing an extended spell on the sidelines which forced Villa to look to James Collins in the short-term. However, the former West Ham defender also pulled up with injury while trying to earn a permanent contract at Villa Park.
Therefore, Villa should plan an ambitious move to sign former Real Madrid defender – Pepe. Valued at £1.35m by Transfermarkt, the Portugal international is currently a free agent after leaving Besiktas in mid-December following the expiration of his contract. Despite being 35-years-old, Pepe would be a wonderful addition to the Villa back line and ease the defensive crisis that is currently on-going.
The former Porto defender would bring a wealth of knowledge to the Midlands having made over 220 appearances for Real Madrid. Pepe lifted three Spanish titles and three Champions League trophies during his time in Spain, and his experience would be of great value to the Aston Villa youngsters. Pepe may have lost his pace but still reads the game expertly and can still perform at the highest level for at least another season.
If Villa could convince him to move to the Championship – this move should be a no-brainer.
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