With around 10 days left of the January transfer window, Aston Villa are yet to make a single addition despite their precarious situation at the bottom of the table.
Players have left, with Gary Gardner joining Nottingham Forest, Jose Angel Crespo linking up with Rayo Vallecano and Joe Bennett seeing out the campaign with Sheffield Wednesday, which means there is space and need for new faces to come on board to help manager Remi Garde stamp his own authority on the squad.
However, there have been names linked with joining up, and below we’re running through the names and running the rule over whether they’d be a good fit at B6, and whether the deals are likely to happen.
Lovre Kalinic – Goalkeeper – Hajduk Split
The goalkeeper position is one that could have done with being seriously looked at over the summer. Current number one Brad Guzan was dropped towards the end of last season for Shay Given, and though he was reinstated this term, he has once again found himself back in the bench in favour of Mark Bunn.
With Guzan’s shaky form, and even shakier distribution doing him no favours, he may well have sealed his fate with a recent run in with Villa fans during the recent clash with Wycombe.
The link with Kalinic is a strange one, mostly because it came from nowhere. Though he is a Croatian international, he is not yet a household name, but he seems to have all the attributes to be a success.
Standing at 6’7, the 25-year-old has established himself as Split’s first choice in recent years and is set to take a place at this summer’s European Championship. Respected Croatian football journalist Aleksandar Holiga believes it will be a good move, highlighting the player’s attributes and reports this week are claiming that a £5million deal is close to being completed.
I think Kalini? is def good enough for Villa. Very tall, commanding, great reflexes for such a big man, relishes big occasions. #Kalinic
— Aleksandar Holiga (@AlexHoliga) January 19, 2016
Nemanja Vidic – Defender – Free agent Vidic is no stranger to the Premier League, having spent eight years at Manchester United, but things haven’t gone according to plan since he departed Old Trafford. Having made 23 appearances in a less than impressive campaign during his first year with Inter Milan, the 34-year-old’s luck ran out there as he has been frozen out by Roberto Mancini this time around, and his contract was terminated earlier this week. And according to reports, Villa have been offered the chance to sign the veteran up quickly. Normally, Villa should jump at the chance of signing such an experienced and intelligent defender, but given that he hasn’t played since May, it might take him a while to get back to full fitness. However, with Crespo leaving and rumours linking Joleon Lesscott with a move to China, the deal could make sense. Christian Santos – NEC Nijmegen – Attacking midfielder Santos is a relative unknown to English football circles, but with Villa lacking in creativity and goals, the Venezuelan international has been tipped to come on board and give Villa an extra edge. The 27-year-old has an impressive scoring record in the Netherlands, bagging 35 goals in 52 appearances for NEC, and as he explained on his Twitter account, a clause in his contract would allow him to leave the club and join Villa for just €300,000. However, though he may represent a low cost risk for the Villans, Dutch football expert Mohamed Moallim believes that he may not be of the required standard to help fire them up the table.
Stefan Johansen – Celtic – Central midfield
Another link that has seemingly sprang up out of nowhere, as The Sun claim that Villa scouts have been keeping an eye on the Norwegian international with the view of making a £5m move for him in the coming week.
Johansen is known for his energetic, all-action approach – a player former Villa striker and Norwegian international John Carew described as “the Duracell bunny with tekkers”, and was voted as both Celtic’s Player of the Year last season as well as the SPL’s Player of the Year.
However, there are rumours he has been carrying an injury this term, as he has been unable to display his best form again, but with just 18 months left on his current deal and a whole host of competition in Celtic’s midfield, Remi Garde may look to him to bring some much needed energy into the middle.
Adrian Ramos – Borussia Dortmund – Striker
There seems to be very little in this one. The Birmingham Mail reported it in passing this week, but only as part of a ‘rumour roundup’ and the story had no links to anything concrete.
Villa are in need of another striker, but there have so far been very few scraps to feed off here, though Ramos would certainly fit the bill.
At 29, this may be his last chance to move to the Premier League, and his career at Dortmund has stalled after impressing so greatly at Hertha Berlin. Villa fans like a Colombian striker thanks to the efforts of Juan Pablo Angel, and with Carlos Sanchez in the team he would have a compatriot to help him settle.
But, as it stands, it’s a non-starter.
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