Aston Villa make 'first steps' for £25m transfer that would mean major Unai Emery change

Unai Emery
Aston Villa boss Unai Emery could see his side sign Denzel Dumfries -Credit:James Gill - Danehouse/Getty Images

Aston Villa have reportedly begun an approach to sign Inter Milan defender Denzel Dumfries.

The Dutchman, 27, primarily plays as a right wing-back for Inter and the Netherlands and has earned a reputation for breaking forward from defence. Dumfries has made 31 appearances under Simone Inzaghi this season, with Inter primed to claim the Serie A title.

Villa have utilised Ezri Konsa at full-back this season, providing competition for Matty Cash, while the club signed teenager Kosta Nedeljkovic from Red Star Belgrade in January and brought Kaine Kesler Hayden back from his Plymouth loan spell. Unai Emery could opt to make further changes at right-back in the summer, leading to links with a move for Dumfries

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Italian outlet Calciomercato has claimed that Villa have made their ‘first steps’ with Dumfries’ entourage, though no official proposal has been made. The full-back’s contract at Inter is set to run until 2025 and is yet to agree to a renewal, with the report suggesting that Inter would consider any offers above €30m (£25.6m).

While it is said that an official bid cannot be ruled out, Villa are claimed to be waiting until the season is over to know the extent of their transfer budget as Emery’s side compete for Champions League football. From Dumfries’ perspective, Villa may struggle to convince the defender as he would reportedly eye a club with a similar ‘reputation and ambition’ to Inter, who are top of Serie A and reached the Champions League final last season.

Despite signing Nedeljkovic in January, Dumfries would provide proven quality for Villa, while Alex Moreno was older than the Dutch international when he arrived at B6. It remains to be seen whether Villa have a firm interest in Dumfries; a formal approach would indicate Emery potentially switching to a back-three system, a formation that he has used briefly this term.

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