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Aston Villa: Journalist drops Duje Caleta-Car claim

Aston Villa could be set to make another addition from Ligue 1 outfit Marseille, following the recent signing of Boubacar Kamara…

What’s the word?

Speaking to GIVEMESPORT, journalist Ryan Taylor has revealed that the young Frenchman could be joined at Villa Park by former team-mate Duje Caleta-Car. The Midlands outfit are believed to be keen on a deal for the 25-year-old, who is potentially set cost in the region of £15m.

Having been asked about other potential centre-back targets, namely James Tarkowski and Joe Gomez, Taylor also threw the Croatian’s name into the mix, saying: “I think Marseille’s Duje Caleta-Car as well.

“He was one of the players Gerrard was watching when he was pictured at the Velodrome recently; went to watch Marseille versus Nantes. I think Villa are quite clear in what they’re trying to do.”

As the respected transfer insider mentioned, Villa manager Steven Gerrard had reportedly been watching the Croatian centre-back in action at the Stade Velodrome in April, with the club seeking a new defensive recruit.

Supporters will be buzzing

That potential bargain addition would no doubt go down well with Villa supporters, with Caleta-Car – whose existing deal expires next summer – having caught the eye after an impressive few seasons in France.

Plucked from Red Bull Salzburg on a €19m (£16.2m) deal in 2018, the 22-cap international has gone on to make 128 appearances for his current club in all competitions, while also reportedly coming close to joining Liverpool in January 2021.

Should Villa sign Caleta-Car?

Absolute steal, yes!

Absolute steal, yes!

Not for me!

Not for me!

As for the 2021/22 campaign, the 6 foot 4 brute recorded a string of standout statistics, averaging 2.1 clearances, 0.8 tackles and 0.9 interceptions per game in Ligue 1, while also winning a remarkable 71% of his duels.

The £14.4m-rated gem has also excelled in possession, comparing favourably to those in his position across Europe’s five big leagues, ranking in the top 3% for attempted passes and in the top 7% for both pass completion and progressive carries.

That seemingly illustrates his ability to bring the ball out of defence with ease, something which has been sorely lacking at present at Villa Park. Tyrone Mings ranks in the bottom 39% for progressive carries, while he is also in the bottom 17% for pass completion, losing possession on average 10.3 times per league game.

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Caleta-Car – who has been dubbed “excellent” by talkSPORT‘s Alex Crook – could therefore be the perfect man to supplant the England defender, with his potential arrival set to be something of a coup should NSWE be able to push through a deal.

He has also been given a ringing endorsement from compatriot Dejan Lovren, with the former Liverpool defender tipping his international colleague to “explode” over the next few years.

The Midlands club have already wrapped up deals for both Kamara and Philippe Coutinho, who made his loan deal permanent earlier this month, although a quality addition at the back should have supporters buzzing.

IN other news, Cost £1.5m per goal: GSB made a colossal blunder on “strong” £40k-p/w West Ham flop

Article title: Aston Villa: Journalist drops Duje Caleta-Car claim

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