Dean can’t afford to wait for target

By Graham Hill

DEAN Smith will have to move fast if he wants to seal a move for is former Brentford defender Yoann Barbet.

Smith knows the player well from his days as Bees boss and will need to beef up his defence next season.

The Villa manager has already lined up a move to make Kortney Hause’s move from Wolves permanent.

But signing Tyrone Mings will be tough – and almost impossible if Villa are not promoted.

Now reports in Italy say Newcastle are interested in the 25-year-old Frenchman who is out of contract at Brentford this summer.

Barbet could be offer a new deal or – as he revealed in an interview with the Brentford matchday programme – go and play abroad.

He said: “I’ve been here for four years and had good spells and bad spells

“Before this run of fixtures, the last time I had a run of games in my position was the first six months under Dean Smith. Now I’m playing every game in my position and enjoying my football.

“This formation means that there is one more space at centre-back, which gives me an opportunity to play more.

“I love this club and I do everything I can. The fans are great with me and that makes me really happy because it shows I’m doing a good job.

“I’m not trying to present myself in a certain way for them to love me, I’m just being myself.

“It’s good to see all the love from the fans, but I’m approaching the end of my contract and, after four years, maybe I want to see another country and another league.

“I could end up staying in the Championship, it’s hard to say.

“We’ve finished in the top ten three years in a row, and it will be difficult to finish in the play-offs this year – it’s not over but we’re not in the best position.

“I can be there, I can be away, but today I can’t say. I’m just trying to do my best for the club.
 
“I could end up staying in the Championship, it’s hard to say.

“We’ve finished in the top ten three years in a row, and it will be difficult to finish in the play-offs this year – it’s not over but we’re not in the best position.

“I can be there, I can be away, but today I can’t say. I’m just trying to do my best for the club.
 
“If we can do what Fulham did last year, I’ll be delighted for everyone. I’m not booking my holiday yet because I still be we can do something this season.”

All of which means Smith needs to make a move as soon as he is able to if Barbet is to be part of his Villa shake-up.

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