Aston Villa suffered a cruel heartbreak in the play-off final to Fulham at the weekend and will need to pick themselves up again ahead of next season.
The future of captain John Terry remains a mystery for now as his contract expires this summer, but he would certainly leave a huge vacant space in the backline if he does depart.
Steve Bruce will need to find a suitable replacement in the summer window to aid another promotion bid next season and should considered hijacking the reported hunt for Newcastle United defender Chancel Mbemba.
The Chronicle reports that the 23-year-old is available to leave St James’ Park this summer and is likely to cost around £6million.
It is understood that Celtic, Anderlecht and Standard Liege are all circling for his signature, but Villa should blow them away and offer him a chance to stay in England.
Mbemba has endured a frustrating season for Newcastle and made just 11 senior appearances across all competitions, while he also played a fringe role during the promotion from the Championship in the 2016/17 campaign.
However, he has been somewhat unlucky with game-time under manager Rafael Benitez at Newcastle and he could thrive elsewhere.
The centre-back is renowned for his physicality and ability in the air, while the Chronicle’s report states they may have to accept a loss on his transfer fee of £8million.
Villa Park could provide Mbemba with a brilliant new home and he could partner nicely alongside James Chester at centre-back next season.
It is going to be difficult filling Terry’s shoes if he does exit, which is why investing in a young defender with a big potential makes perfect sense.
In other Aston Villa transfer news, Manchester United have placed a Bruce mainstay on their radar.