Attila Szalai

Aston Villa could be in the market for a new centre-back this summer following the departure of Bjorn Engels.

The Belgian defender departed the club for Royal Antwerp last month which brought to an end his two year stay at Villa Park.

While Dean Smith will still have the luxury of picking solid duo Tyrone Mings and Ezri Konsa next season - barring any injury problems - only Kortney Hause is currently back-up in the centre-back department.

Hause made seven Premier League appearances last season and the former Wolves defender's current contract is due to expire next summer.

Former Villa loanee Axel Tuanzebe has been tipped for a possible return and Manchester United could send him out on loan again this season.

Speaking to United's website last month, Tuanzebe said: “Being 23 now, I want to be playing week in, week out.

“I’ve had a taste of it being at Villa, I enjoyed it. “That’s something I wanted to replicate here. I haven’t had the run of games that I’ve hoped for, but, next season, I’ll definitely be playing football.

“When I was on loan, the pressure was obviously different. Not to say that Villa aren’t a big club, but you know, Man United are top of the top and the fans expect something.”

While Smith wouldn’t be able to guarantee Tuanzebe a starting spot every weekend, Villa’s sporting director Johan Lange has his work cut out in identifying a quality centre-back who is willing to join Villa knowing their minutes on the pitch would bel be limited.


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Villa have been linked with a move for Hungary centre-back Attila Szalai, who currently plies his trade with Turkish giants Fenerbahce.

Szalai played every minute of his side's Euro 2020 campaign and impressed, earning some rave reviews for his performances at the competition.

If Villa want to sign Szalai, they would have to part with at least £15million to start any negotiations for a possible transfer.

"For Attila, under €20m is not even talked about," Fenerbahce president Ali Koc is quoted as saying by Turkish media outlet Hurriyet.

However, Fenerbahce manager Vitor Pereira has taken a firmer stance and delivered Villa a blow in their pursuit of defender Szalai.

Pereira has pleaded with the bosses of the Turkish club to avoid selling the centre-back as he will be a crucial player in their title charge next season.

He told Sporx: “We are on the road with the goal of championship. Szalai is also one of our best players.

“He will be one of the names we will receive the biggest contribution on this path. I need Szalai for the championship goal.

“The club’s interests are obviously important, but I think Szalai should stay with us this season, no matter how good the offer.”

Despite Fenerbahce's firm stance on Szalai, the Hungarian international could be a perfect for for Villa. At 23-years-old, Szalai wouldn’t demand a starting role every weekend having not yet played in a top five European league during his career.

Former Fenerbahce coach Emre Belozoglu labelled Szalai as exemplary earlier this year as he praised his attitude on and off the pitch.

He said: “We received very quick feedback on Attila Szalai and Dimitris Pelkas. Szalai, who made the loudest noise in training as if he had been playing for Fenerbahçe for years, and joined us last. These names are very exemplary players.”

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Source : https://www.msn.com/en-gb/sports/football/aston-villa-dealt-transfer-blow-as-boss-takes-firm-stance-on-c2-a315m-euro-2020-star/ar-AAMjFRP

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Report: Alongside Bailey, Aston Villa could sign Euro 2020 player for just £13m

Source:HITC

Report: Alongside Bailey, Aston Villa could sign Euro 2020 player for just £13m

Virals: West Ham see £10.3m Attila Szalai bid rejected

Source:MSN

Virals: West Ham see £10.3m Attila Szalai bid rejected