Aston Villa have reportedly set their sights on Rangers defender Calvin Bassey as Steven Gerrard eyes a reunion with his former protege.
According to Daily Telegraph, Aston Villa are interested in raiding 2021/22 UEFA Europa League runners-up Rangers for the signing of versatile defender Calvin Bassey in the summer transfer window.
A former trainee at the Leicester City academy, Bassey joined Rangers in the summer of 2020, when Steven Gerrard was at the helm of affairs at the Ibrox Stadium. The 22-year-old defender, who can play at left-back or centre-back, did not feature all that regularly in his debut season in Scotland but has become an established member of the lineup this season.
Of Bassey’s 65 appearances for the Gers, 50 have come in the 2021/22 campaign, in which he has contributed with six assists. The 22-year-old, who has two caps for the Nigerian national team, played a key role in Rangers’ run to the finals of the Europa League and was one of their standout performers in Seville, even though his team lost to Eintracht Frankfurt via penalty shootouts.
Bassey’s performances have seemingly caught the eye of his former manager Gerrard, who is now keen on signing him for Aston Villa in the summer transfer window. The Villans have already made a rapid start to the window, signing Philippe Coutinho permanently before landing Boubacar Kamara on a Bosman deal.
The focus is now shifting towards strengthening the backline, where Ezri Konsa and Tyrone Mings have underperformed this season. Furthermore, the latter is being linked with a £35 million summer move to Newcastle United. It would leave Aston Villa short on numbers at the heart of the defence.
Liverpool defender Joe Gomez has been touted as a priority target for Aston Villa. At the same time, though, they are also interested in Bassey due to his versatile nature. Indeed, the 22-year-old can play as he can play at the centre of the left of a back-three or even as a left-back.
Furthermore, with the ageing Ashley Young the only backup to Lucas Digne at left-back, Bassey’s signing would address that area of concern as well. A tough-tackling defender with pace and physicality, the former Leicester City prospect can be a handy addition at Villa Park. But with two years left on his contract, Rangers could demand a sizeable fee for the 22-year-old.