According to The Sun, Aston Villa are interested in signing Australia defender Trent Sainsbury during this summer’s transfer window.
It is shaping up to be a very difficult summer for Villa, whose financial problems mean that they could have a much weaker squad for the 2018-19 Championship season.
Steve Bruce’s side reached the final of the Championship playoffs last term, but suffered a 1-0 defeat to Fulham, and will spend at least one more campaign in the second tier.
John Terry has already left Villa Park, and Chris Samba and James Chester are expected to follow, which would leave the team dangerously short of defensive options.
According to The Sun, Bruce’s need to uncover some bargain deals has led him to Australia international Sainsbury, who plays his club football for Chinese Super League outfit Jiangsu Suning.
The 26-year-old has impressed for his country at this summer’s tournament in Russia, and could well be arriving in England ahead of the 2018-19 campaign.
Sainsbury, who mainly operates as a centre-back, joined Chinese outfit Jiangsu Suning in 2016, but has recently spent time on loan at Inter Milan and Grasshoppers.
The defender only played once for Inter during the 2016-17 season, but was a regular for Swiss outfit Grasshoppers in the second half of the 2017-18 campaign.
According to transfermarkt.co.uk, Sainsbury will see his deal with Jiangsu Suning expire on December 31, which could make him available for a bargain price this summer.
Australia can still qualify for the knockout round of the 2018 World Cup despite only collecting one point from two matches thus far, and Sainsbury will be looking to help his nation collect all three points against Peru on Tuesday afternoon.
Villa will be shopping in the bargain basement this summer, and the acquisition of Sainsbury could turn out to be a very smart piece of business.