Aston Villa boss Dean Smith is eyeing a swoop for Rangers and Croatia star Borna Barisic in the transfer window.
Reports in recent days have suggested that the Premier League side are one of a number of teams who are set to watch Barisic in action during the EUROs, after the left-back initially missed the game against England.
Football Insider claim that Villa, along with the likes of Arsenal and Wolves, are all in the market for a new senior left-back this summer, and that Barisic is someone who they will be keeping tabs on.
With 56-assists to his name over his career, Barisic has been a chief creator for a number of years now, and has only added to that part of his game since moving to Scotland to join Rangers.
The Croatian was superb in the campaign just gone by, scoring five goals and providing 14 assists across all competitions, helping the Gers to the league title and stopping arch-rivals Celtic’s chances of lifting their tenth consecutive trophy in a row.
Former Rangers midfielder Alex Rae was full of praise for Barisic, saying: “He performs at good level week-in, week-out and has terrific quality in the final third of the park.”
Meanwhile, the sporting director at his former club, Osijek, Alen Petrovic said: “Borno isn’t just the best left-back in Croatia but the whole region. I’ve watched him all my life and he is the best crosser of the ball in the country.”
While Matt Targett was a permanent fixture in Smith’s starting line-up last season, the lack of real cover for him was particularly worrying, with Neil Taylor the only other recognised, senior left-back.
Bringing in Barisic would give the Villa boss some much-needed depth on that flank, and the club’s fans should be buzzing at the prospect of seeing him deliver some superb deliveries into the box for the likes of Ollie Watkins to feed off next season.
Not only could he raise Targett’s game to another level through sheer competition, but if given the chance to start, Barisic would offer a real exciting attacking dimension that could leave fans purring.