Steven Gerrard has already lured Philippe Coutinho and Lucas Digne to Villa Park this month, but the Liverpool legend still wants add more quality to his ambitious team
Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard insists he’s looking for “steel and style” in his January transfer window targets.
Several clubs were believed to be interested in both players, but Gerrard managed to persuade them to join his ambitious new team.
And the former England captain is keen to even more quality to the ranks, with rumours suggesting Brighton midfielder Yves Bissouma is on Villa’s radar.
Signing a centre-back is also on the agenda after losing Manchester United loanee Axel Tuanzebe to Napoli earlier this month.
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“There might be opportunities again,” said Gerrard when asked by reporters on future transfers. “It is steel and style we are looking for.
“Can we find that level of player who is going to improve the team, or do we need cover for injuries or suspension? I like to have four centre backs and we only have three, so we are analysing that situation.”
Villa signed a defender on Friday afternoon – confirming a deal for Dundee United talent Kerr Smith – but the 17-year-old has joined the academy and is unlikely to be Gerrard’s fourth centre-back.
“We are delighted that Kerr has joined us, he is a player we have tracked and monitored for a long time,” academy manager Mark Harrison told Villa’s website.
“He has lots of potential but has already gained some fantastic experiences at first-team level with Dundee United, which is rare for a 17-year-old.
“We are really excited to see how he develops and hopefully one day we will see him become a regular in our first team.”
Villa are also thought to be closing in on a deal for Roma goalkeeper Robin Olsen, who is currently on a season-long loan at Sheffield United.
The 32-year-old hasn’t played for the Blades since November, with former Rangers stopper Wes Foderingham – who played under Gerrard at Ibrox – taking the gloves at Bramall Lane.
“There is potential on that but nothing as yet,” said Sheff Utd manager Paul Heckingbottom when asked on Olsen’s situation.
“It’s one of the situations we’re monitoring, but nothing’s happened yet. There’s been speculation about Robin but it’s in our hands, so the only way he can is if we have a replacement.”
Ex-Villa striker Kevin Phillips has urged his former club to sign Southampton midfielder Oriol Romeu, who would add steel and experience to Gerrard’s midfield.
“I think Romeu would be a solid option for Villa,” Phillips told Football Insider in December. “He reminds me a lot of [Tottenham’s Pierre-Emile] Hojbjerg.
“He is an eight out of 10 every week but he will never be that player who pulls up trees. I wouldn’t say he ever stands out but he does the nasty side of the game – the tough industrious side of things.
“Villa will know what they’re getting. Romeu is an organiser and a leader. If Villa could secure his services, it’d be smart business.
“He gives you a platform to build off and allows other more offensive players to play… it wouldn’t surprise me if he went and did well at Villa.”