Report: Villa close in on Belgian

By Graham Hill

VILLA are reported to be in talks with Reims defender Björn Engels as Dean Smith looks to boost his defence again for the new Premier League season.

Smith has already signed Tyrone Mings, Ezri Konta, Kortney Hause and Matt Targett.

Now he has set his sights on the 24-year-old Engels according to French publication L’Equipe..

No fee has been mentioned yet, but the player only signed permanently this summer and has another four years left on his contract.

That means Villa will have to pay a sizeable sum with their summer spending now approaching £100million.

Belgium Under-21 international Engels started his career at Bruges before moving to Olympicacos in Greece where he made 17 starts before joining Reims, initially on loan before tying up a permanent move in March.

Engels has been linked with Arsenal, Stoke and Fulham in recent years. He was nominated as Belgium’s Young Player of the Year five years ago, but lost out to Youri Tielemans, now with Leicester City.

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