By Danny Wright
Aston Villa have deployed their scouts on a transfer mission to Italy in order to keep close tabs on Bologna defender Filip Helander, according to a report.
Italian news outlet Tuttomercatoweb claims that the Villains recruitment experts jetted out to watch over Helander, 24, when he featured for Bologna in their Serie A win against Hellas Verona on Monday.
Helander managed to turn out on the winning side but still saw Verona put two goals past him and his defence in a 3-2 victory for Bologna.
Aston Villa aren’t the only Championship team to have been alerted to the Sweden international this year with Goal reporting in June that Leeds United had tabled a bid for him worth £3.5million.
Premier League clubs have also been interested in the former Malmo defender with Nima Tavallaey claiming via his personal Twitter account in August that Newcastle and West Brom had made approaches for the towering centre-back.
Helander has been a regular in the Bologna side this season, making 12 appearances in the Italian Serie A.
The defensive colossus, who stands at 1.92 metres according to Transfermarkt, was signed on a permanent basis after a successful loan spell by Bologna in the summer from his Monday night opponents Hellas Verona.
Football Insider Verdict
It seems that Helander is a very in-demand player and Aston Villa may be lucky to get hold of him with Premier League sides sniffing around him. He has not long signed a permanent deal with Bologna so could be very hard to pry away from them, especially since establishing himself as a key member of the first-team side. However he is a very good player and the fact he has three caps for Sweden shows that he could slot in to the Villa first-team too. Helander is tall, physical and decent in the air so could perfectly suit Championship football.
In other Aston Villa news, a top-flight club is gearing up an audacious swoop for this Villa defender.