Cahill proving tough nut to crack

By Graham Hill

DEAN Smith’s dream central defence is getting closer – but deals to bring Gary Cahill and Axel Tuanzebe in to join Tyrone Mings are still some way off it seems.

Smith may have finally got his man when Mings finally signed for Villa this week on a permanent basis.

But speculation that ex-Chelsea and England defender Cahill – along with Manchester United prospect Tuanzebe – could also be coming to Villa Park refuses to go away.

The Telegraph says that Villa have held talks with Cahill. 33, who would have strong links with coach John Terry as well as playing for the club earlier in his career.

Cahill spent four years as part of Villa’a first team squad before being sold to Bolton by Martin O’Neill 11 years ago.

But the Telegraph suggests that any deal for Cahill ‘needs work’ which means that Villa may have to up their wage offer for a player who is now a free agent and wanted by other clubs.

The same newspaper also says Smith will try and bring Tuanzebe back to Villa after his successful loan spell last season which saw him team up with Mings as part of the club’s promotion campaign.

But there are also reports that Villa are keen on Albion’s Egypt defender Ahmed Hegazi and that serious enquiries have been made.

Smith is working hard to rebuild Villa’s squad from top to bottom – but it is not proving easy with other targets such as midfielder Kalvin Phillips still in limbo.

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