Aston Villa

Aston Villa linked with Brentford raid as Dean Smith eyes up star defender

Brentford defender Yoann Barbet is being lined up by former manager Dean Smith at Aston Villa, according to Football Insider.

Aston Villa and Stoke City are both reportedly lining up moves for Brentford’s French defender Yoann Barbet, and could make offers in the January transfer window. The 25-year-old’s contract runs out at the end of this season, and Brentford could be tempted to cash in, rather than risk losing the defender for nothing.

Dean Smith – who is a strong admirer of the Frenchman – spent three years at Griffin Park with Barbet, and has reportedly made him his number one target for the upcoming transfer window in January.

Barbet spent his youth career in France, before coming through the academy of French Ligue 1 side Bordeaux, but he didn’t make a single appearance for the French side, only playing for the club’s B-team.

After three years with Bordeaux, Barbet joined French second tier side Chamois Niortais FC, and spent a single season there, making 33 appearances and scoring two goals and assisting one goal. At the end of his first season with Chamois Niortais, he joined Championship side Brentford, and has played for The Bees 98 times.

After John Terry left the club, only to become assistant manager a matter of months later, Villa failed to bring in a replacement defender and have struggled at the back throughout the early stages of this season.

However, Stoke City manager Gary Rowett is also looking at the Frenchman, as he looks to bolster his side’s defensive options, with their promotion efforts faltering early on.

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