Aston Villa face competition in their pursuit of defender Steven Caulker, according to Bristol Live.

Villa’s Championship counterparts Wigan Athletic have reportedly joined the race for Caulker, who is a free agent after leaving Dundee in August.

The 26-year-old was once considered one of the country’s best central defenders and was capped by the England national team in 2012. After a difficult few years during which his career somewhat stalled, the defender is ready to return to England and could soon arrive in the Championship.

Villa boss Steve Bruce has made no secret of his desire to bolster his defence and the club have been linked with several defenders in recent weeks. Veteran James Collins has been invited to train with the club and Bruce is also rumoured to have set his sights on Aberdeen’s Scott McKenna and Chelsea’s Gary Cahill. 

Newly-promoted Wigan have enjoyed a promising start to the season under the tutelage of Paul Cook, who led the Latics to the League One title last season. They have climbed to fifth in the Championship table, eight places and three points ahead of struggling Villa. The Villains came out on top when the two clubs clashed in early August but face a battle to succeed in the race for Caulker.

The former Liverpool loanee may even opt to move abroad after reports suggested he had been training with Ukrainian Premier League side Arsenal Kiev. 

Villa slipped to defeat against Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday, adding to the mounting pressure on manager Bruce. They visit Bristol City on Friday night and may even have sealed a deal for a defensive addition by the time they arrive at Ashton Gate. Similarly, Wigan could have a new face among their ranks when they lock horns with Norwich City on Saturday.


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