Aston Villa linked with Rangers defender and £25m-rated Bundesliga star

Aston Villa have recently been linked with a Croatian defensive duo.

Steven Gerrard could be tempted by a reunion with Rangers full-back Borna Barisic. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
Steven Gerrard could be tempted by a reunion with Rangers full-back Borna Barisic. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Reports in Germany have linked Aston Villa with a move for highly-rated Stuttgart left-back Borna Sosa in the January transfer window.

Villa have been in the market for a left-back for a while now, with Matt Targett currently the only specialist in that position.

The former Southampton defender hasn’t been quite at his best this season and the West Midlands club will look to provide him with some competition.

Borna Sosa of Stuttgart controls the ball during the Bundesliga match between VfB Stuttgart and DSC Arminia Bielefeld at Mercedes-Benz Arena on November 06, 2021 in Stuttgart, Germany. (Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images)

It is thought that Villa would have to fork out £25 million for the Croatian defender, who has been on fire in the current Bundesliga campaign.

New boss Steven Gerrard could also be tempted by a reunion with Sosa’s compatriot Borna Barisic, who he managed during his time with Rangers prior to his move to the Premier League.

At 29, Barisic is six years older than Sosa, however the Rangers full-back could be available at a significantly lower price of £8 million.

Who is Borna Sosa?

Marco Reus of Borussia Dortmund is challenged by Borna Sosa of Stuttgart during the Bundesliga match between Borussia Dortmund and VfB Stuttgart at Signal Iduna Park on November 20, 2021 in Dortmund, Germany. (Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images)

Borna Sosa began his career in his native country of Croatia with Zinameo Zagreb before he joined VfB Stuggart in the summer of 2018 for just over £5 million.

The 23-year-old has shone for the Bundesliga side, picking up nine assists in the league last season and claiming three so far in the 2021-22 campaign.

Sosa’s brilliant form has seen him earn plenty of praise and also comparisons to David Beckham, with the defender also a free-kick specialist.

Sosa also made his international debut for Croatia in September of this year, picking up a clean sheet against Russia.

Borna Barisic celebrates after he scores his team's fourth goal during the UEFA Europa League Round of 32 match between Rangers FC and Royal Antwerp FC at on February 25, 2021 (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Sosa’s success for club and country has attracted the attention of Villa and could see him bring in some healthy competition for Targett.

Who is Borna Barisic?

Borna Barisic was one of Steven Gerrard’s first signings at Rangers following his arrival in 2018.

The full-back joined on a four-year deal for a reported £2.2 million from Croatian club NK Osijek and was an important player for Gerrard, making 33 league appearances last season as they won the title.

The 29-year-old has made over 100 appearances for the Scottish club and could be tempted by a reunion with Gerrard in the Premier League.