Aston Villa have already moved swiftly to make a number of new signings this summer.
The club have brought in Kortney Hause, Anwar El Ghazi, Wesley and Jota in on permanent deals, with the former two having been on loan at the club last season.
Villa are preparing for Premier League football after they secured promotion by beating Derby County 2-1 at Wembley in the play-off final last month – after Dean Smith led his side to a 5th place finish in the Championship.
Two players who played a key role in Villa’s promotion were Tyrone Mings and Axel Tuanzebe. Both are centre-backs and both were on loan to the club from Bournemouth and Manchester United respectively.
Heading into the top-flight, Villa will need to have a strong defence – meaning that they need to sign some centre-backs before the start of the season.
Here are some central defenders Villa could look to sign…
After impressing on loan to Derby County in the Championship last season, Tomori could be a good signing for Villa. The England under-21 defender is strong in the tackle and comfortable on the ball.
Rojo appears to be out of favour at Manchester United and could be tempted by the prospect of regular first-team football. Villa could give him the chance to reignite his career in the top-flight.
Konsa caught the eye with his solid displays for Brentford at the back last season. The English defender joined Brentford from Charlton last summer but could now be ready for Premier League football.
Villa have already been linked with a move to bring Mings back to the club on a permanent basis from Bournemouth this summer. Mings was superb at the back as Villa clinched promotion via the play-offs.
If Holding recovers from his injury, he could be a shrewd signing for Villa. The Arsenal defender has shown promise at The Emirates since signing for the club from Bolton.
The talented young defender has made a name for himself over the last few years at Middlesbrough and could be ready for a move to the Premier League. The towering defender was a rock for Tony Pulis last season at the Riverside.
Like with Mings, Villa could look to bring Tuanzebe back to the club for another spell. Villa will need to hope that he is not in Manchester United’s plans for next season, following his excellent displays at Villa Park in the Championship.
The experienced Spanish central defender would be a top signing for Villa. Alvaro is a solid defender and would add plenty of know-how to Dean Smith’s current squad if they brought him in this summer.
The Leeds central defender could be tempted to leave Elland Road after they failed to gain promotion to the Premier League. The Swedish international is composed on the ball and terrific in the air.
Although this is an ambitious target, Villa could persuade Mangala to move to the club in an attempt to kickstart his career. The French defender has struggled with form and injuries during his time at Manchester City in England.