Aston Villa face competition from fellow Championship side Wigan Athletic in the market for free agent Steve Caulker, according to The Daily Mail.
With defeat against Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday extending Aston Villa’s poor run of form to just one win in their last eight matches across all competitions, significant defensive reinforcements are needed for a side who has kept just one clean sheet in the league.
Steve Bruce’s side have slipped into the bottom half of the Championship standings following their defeat at Villa Park and face a challenge to ease the pressure on their shoulders after an inconsistent start to the campaign.
The promotion hopefuls failed to fill the void left by the departure of veteran defender John Terry over the course of the summer and the closure of the transfer market has left Bruce with very few options as he considers a move for a free agent.
However, The Daily Mail says Villa need to be prepared for a fight if they move to bring in Steven Caulker as the former Liverpool and Tottenham man is also a target for Wigan.
The need for defensive reinforcements for Steve Bruce’s side is clear but signing Caulker, who signed for Dundee United in February before leaving in August, would certainly be a move that would see Bruce scraping the barrel even if it is a position that needs strengthening.
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Still just 26 years of age, Caulker has experience of English football and could do well as a short-term addition but he may seek a longer deal and, if so, Bruce should avoid a move and instead prioritise Chelsea veteran, Gary Cahill.
While Caulker can still improve and develop, he is not the sort of signing that would provide an immediate boost to a frail defensive line that has struggled to compete this season and he may even struggle to get into the side.