By Phil Jennings
ITALIAN sources claim Villa are so keen to sign Juventus keeper Mattia Perin they are prepared to start the season without him while he regains full fitness.
As things stand, Perin is out of action with a shoulder injury and his proposed move to Benfica broke down this summer broke down when he failed a medical.
But now the TuttoMercatoWeb site says that Villa are ready to return with an improved offer of £13.5million for the highly-rated 26-year-old.
As well as Benfica, Porto also pulled out of a move for Perin due to concerns over the player’s fitness.
But, if the Italian media is correct, Villa want to sign Perin but start the season with Jed Steer in goal.
Perin is second choice to Wojciech Szczesny at Juve but he has two caps for Italy and if Villa can get the best out of him then, long-term, it could be a good move. He let in just 184 goals in 151 matches during his time at Genoa
But this is a link that has yet to be confirmed by either club – although Villa’s keeper search appears to becoming more desperate by the day.
Despite making 11 signings this summer, a new keeper has proved a sticking point for Dean Smith.
So far, Villa have been rejected in their moves for Jack Butland at Stoke, Cardiff’s Neil Etheridge and Burnley’s England keeper Tom Heaton. Plus, they have yet to find a buyer for £3million-rated Lovre Kalinic who will be allowed to leave just seven months after signing for Villa.