Andreas Weimann could be set to help Paul Lambert entice Basel centre-back Aleksandar Dragovic to Aston Villa in the summer.
The Austrian defender has his heart set on a switch to the Premier League and is regularly in touch with his international team-mate Weimann.
Dragovic, who impressed in both legs of Basel’s Europa League quarter-final victory over Tottenham last month, said: “I regularly speak to Andreas, who has told me a lot about how much he enjoys playing in England.
“It’s competition at the highest level, which is what I am looking for.
“The fans are fantastic, and the clubs command a lot of respect around the world.”
Everton, Fulham and Southampton are all tracking his progress, but Villa have been eyeing the 22-year-old for over a year with former chief scout Michael Henke having sent back several reports on Dragovic prior to leaving the club in January.
Henke watched Basel play Bayern Munich in a friendly just before quitting as chief scout to join Ingolstadt and Lambert is understood to be looking for a defender of his type to come in this summer.
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