Dean Smith wants to sign a centre-back for Aston Villa in the January transfer window, according to Birmingham Live. Here are four he could sign-

Yoann Barbet, Brentford- Smith knows the French defender well from managing him at Brentford. The 25-year-old, who can also play as a left-back, has impressed for the Bees in the Championship this season and would be a shrewd signing by Villa. Barbet already knows the way Smith likes his side to play and this familiarity would be useful for the Midlands side.

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Jack Stephens, Southampton- Villa would be able to offer the Premier League centre-back more first-team football which could appeal to him. Stephens has 50 times for the Saints since rising through their youth academy. He could really make a name for himself at Aston Villa.

Scott McKenna, Aberdeen- Villa had a bid rejected for him in August and should move for him again. He is being tipped for a big future in the game and is already seen as one of the best defenders in the Scottish Premier League at the moment. McKenna, who is 22 years-old, has played seven times for Scotland so far in his career.

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Tim Ream, Fulham- The experienced centre-back played a huge role in Fulham’s promotion from the Championship last season but has found chances hard to come by in the top flight in this campaign. Ream is an option and someone who knows what it takes to get out of this league. The 31-year-old would also provide some more experience across Villa’s backline.

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