9 quality defenders Aston Villa could target as Diego Carlos cover - including Arsenal and Man United stars

Here are nine defenders Aston Villa could sign following Diego Carlos’ injury.

Aston Villa acted fast in the transfer window when they snapped up Diego Carlos from Sevilla, despite the likes of Newcastle United being heavily linked with the defender.

However, the Midlands club have since suffered a blow, with Carlos tearing his Achilles tendon in only his second competitive match since his £26 million move.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The centre-back’s injury leaves Villa with four direct replacements in Ezri Konsa, Calum Chambers, Tyrone Mings and Kortney Hause - with the latter also sidelined.

Steven Gerrard is determined to improve on last season’s defence and may now look to bring in another centre-back while Carlos is sidelined.

With the Brazilian likely to be out for around six months, the Villa boss has the option of bringing someone in on loan or on a short-term deal.

Here are nine defenders Gerrard could sign to replace the injured Diego Carlos...

Rob Holding

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

According to Estadio Deportivo, Aston Villa are considering a move for Arsenal defender Rob Holding.

The 26-year-old has plenty of Premier League experience but is quite far down the pecking order at the Emirates Stadium, with the likes of William Saliba, Ben White and Gabriel solidifying their places in the starting line-up.

Holding could be a good temporary option if he was to join his former Arsenal teammate in Chambers in Birmingham, however it is unclear whether Mikel Arteta would be willing to lose some of his squad depth - especially since he is currently starting three of his four centre-backs.

Eric Bailly

Eric Bailly has previously been one of the first names on Manchester United’s teamsheet, however his opportunities are getting more sparce following the arrival of Lisandro Martinez.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The Ivorian only made four appearances in the Premier League last season and has also seen his career wrecked by injuries.

The Red Devils are reportedly now looking to offload Bailly and have received plenty of interest in him, with West Ham, Marseille and Monaco all keen on the defender.

However, United are thought to be looking to sell the 28-year-old, while the interested parties are hopeful of a loan deal as his reported £80,000-a-week salary is proving to be an obstacle.

While clearly injury-prone, Bailly is still a very good footballer, though may prove to be a risk for Villa - especially if they had to fork out on his wages.

Trevoh Chalobah

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Despite making 20 league appearances for Chelsea last season, Trevoh Chalobah has lost his place in the starting XI this time round.

With Kalidou Koulibaly taking his spot in the backline, Chalobah is yet to feature in the 2022/23 campaign and could be set for a period on the bench if Wesley Fofana arrives before the deadline.

The 23-year-old is clearly a huge talent and would be a great addition to Villa’s defence if they could bring him in on loan.

Chalobah has previously had three successful spells away from Stamford Bridge, though he would most likely have to force through a move if Villa were to snap him up since the Blues are likely to want him as back-up.

Caglar Soyuncu

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Caglar Soyuncu was incredible following his breakthrough to the Leicester City first team during the 2019-20 campaign - making 34 appearances and also being named in the PFA Team of the Year.

However, his form has since gone downhill and he has now lost his place in the Foxes’ backline - being an unused substitute in their opening two fixtures.

With Soyuncu’s contract set to expire at the end of the season, Leicester could make him available this summer on the cheap.

If Villa can get him back to his best then he could be a very good replacement for Carlos - though a move may seem less likely if Brendan Rodgers’ side lose Fofana to Chelsea.

Nat Phillips

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Nat Phillips has been linked with a whole host of clubs following his return from a successful loan spell with Bournemouth, but is somehow still at Anfield and made his first start to the season against Crystal Palace on Monday.

The 25-year-old will be desperate to play first team football and has showed how brilliant of a defender he is with the Reds, though Liverpool’s current injury crisis might mean Jurgen Klopp will look to keep hold of him for the time being.

It is thought that the Merseyside club were asking for around £10m earlier this summer and there would certainly be no harm in enquiring about Phillips’ availability.

Duje Caleta-Car

According to reports, Aston Villa have already made contact with Marseille defender Duje Caleta-Car.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The centre-back is highly rated in France after making 32 appearances for the Ligue 1 club last season and has attracted plenty of interest.

Caleta-Car’s contract runs out at the end of the season and Marseille have made him available for around £9m so they don’t lose him for free next summer, however Villa will face competition from the likes of Inter Milan, Torino and Sevilla for his signature.

Daniele Rugani

Juventus are said to be expecting an offer for Daniele Rugani from Aston Villa following Carlos’ injury, according to Calciomercato.

The 28-year-old was once highly rated at the Italian club however has failed to make much of an impact - making only 12 appearances in Serie A last season.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

With Leonardo Bonucci and Gleison Bremer currently occupying the two centre-back spots in their team, HITC have claimed that Rugani has been placed on the transfer list.

Two years ago the defender was reported to be valued at £18m by Juventus but could be cheaper this summer, however could face competition if AC Milan and Lazio are to revisit their interest after previously making offers for the Italian.

Attila Szalai

According to reports in Turkey, Aston Villa are preparing to make an offer and rival West Ham for Fenerbahce defender Attila Szalai.

The centre-back was first choice for Fenerbahce last season but is looking increasingly likely to leave Turkey this summer, with the Irons previously offering £10m for his services.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Szalai wouldn’t be seen as a ‘panic buy’ either, with the Midlands club previously sending scounds to watch the 24-year-old back in April meaning they clearly already held an interest in him.

The chase for Szalai won’t be easy though, with AC Milan and Atletico Madrid also linked with the defender in recent months.

Jason Denayer

According to Estadio Deportivo, Jason Denayer has emerged as a target for Steven Gerrard.

The 27-year-old would be one of the cheapest options following his release by Lyon at the end of last season and would add Premier League experience having previously played in the top flight with Sunderland.

The Belgian could certainly be a good bargain option for Villa, though he is already attracting interest from a number of clubs across Europe so the Premier League side would have to act fast.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.