Aston Villa are reportedly in advanced negotiations with Ligue 1 side Stade de Reims to sign Belgian defender Bjorn Engels.

According to French outlet L’Equipe, cited by GFFN, Villa are in discussions with the French side regarding the services of Engels, who joined from Olympiacos last summer.

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The 24-year-old is under contract with the French outfit until 2023 and a transfer fee discussed has not been reported.

Engels, who has been used as a centre-back throughout his career, can also ply his trade in a defensive midfield role, something which is likely to appeal to boss Dean Smith.

The Belgian would be Villa’s eighth summer arrival if he is the next man through the door at Villa Park, with Smith already strengthening in multiple areas ahead of the club’s top-flight return.

It is unlikely that Villa will spend big on Engels after signing left-back Matt Targett and centre-backs Tyrone Mings and Ezri Konsa for a reported combined fee of £46 million.

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