Aston Villa are plotting a late move to hijack Sheffield United’s deal to sign Bournemouth goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale.
That’s according to Football Insider, who claim that Villa manager Dean Smith has set his sights on Ramsdale.
They are in the market for a new ‘keeper with Pepe Reina having returned to AC Milan following his loan and Tom Heaton injured since New Year’s Day. Heaton suffered a an anterior cruciate ligament injury and Birmingham Live reports he’s unlikely to be fit for the new season starting on September 12.
Smith therefore has Orjan Nyland and Jed Steer as options. There is also forgotten man, Lovre Kalinic, and 18-year-old Viljani Sinisalo.
Which is why he has turned his attention to Ramsdale, despite the Cherries accepting an £18.5m offer from South Yorkshire for the 22-year-old over the weekend.
The Villans believe the deal is not yet done because the England Under-21 international is yet to agree personal terms.
Why Aston Villa are unlikely to sign Ramsdale
Aside from the fact negotiations are clearly at an advanced stage with the Blades, that isn’t the only advantage they have over the Birmingham club.
Firstly, Ramsdale and Chris Wilder already have a relationship. The stopper came through the academy at Bramall Lane, before making the £1m switch to Dorset in January 2017.
United were a League One team at the time, so even if Wilder had wanted to keep him the prospect of moving to a top flight club was too good to turn down.
New Bournemouth boss, Jason Tindall, also recently suggested Ramsdale was keen on a move back north to Sheffield.
Not only that, but the chance to work under Wilder again is surely an attractive one. The 53-year-old has just guided the Blades to ninth in their first Premier League campaign in 12 years.
Meanwhile, Villa only avoided relegation on the final day of the season.
United finished with a defensive record only bettered by the division’s top three teams. Only bottom-placed Norwich City conceded more than the Villans.
It doesn’t seem like the Blades should be too unduly worried by this latest speculation.