Smith targets England U-21 star

By Graham Hill

DEAN SMITH’S search for his ideal central defence has taken him back to his former club Brentford once more.

Smith has already enquired about Neal Maupay and Said Benrahma this summer.

Now the Daily Mail says that Brentford’s Ezri Konsa, 21, is a target – and Sky Sports add that the clubs are now in advanced talks over the player.

Smith sealed a deal for Tyrone Mings this week but wants more numbers at the back and is trying to get Axel Tuanzebe back in on loan again as well as talking to ex-Chelsea defender Gary Cahill about moving to Villa as a free agent – albeit on big wages.

United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says he will not be rushed into letting players go out on loan before he has run the rule on them.

Villa have also moved for Bristol City defender Adam Webster – but he is thought to have a huge £30million price tag on his head.

Smith was the man who took Konsa to Brentford from Charlton last June. And the Bees have signed Pontus Jansson from Leeds and Ethan Pinnock from Barnsley.

Villa have signed six players so far and Smith is desperate to bolster his squad after releasing a string of names at the end of last season.

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