Date: 18th January 2019 at 4:33pm
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EXCLUSIVE By Pete O’Rourke

Aston Villa have made an approach to sign highly-rated French defender Frederic Guilbert, Football Insider understands.

Villa boss Dean Smith has made a new right-back one of his main priorities during this month’s transfer window as the full-back positions have been a problem for Villa so far this season.

Guilbert is very highly-regarded in France having impressed for Caen during the last couple of seasons after joining from Bordeaux in the summer of 2017 after a successful loan spell.

The 24-year-old has made 17 appearances in all competitions for Caen this term and Villa have held a long-term interest in talented defender.

A well-placed source has told Football Insider that Guilbert would be very interested in making a move to Aston Villa if they can agree a deal with Caen.

Caen could be forced to cash-in on Guilbert this month as they struggling down the wrong end of the Ligue 1 table and Villa are ready to test their resolve with a firm offer.

Aston Villa are desperate to bolster their defensive options this month as they have the worst defensive record in the top half of the table, having conceded 43 goals in 27 games.

In other Aston Villa transfer news, the club have made a move to sign a Sheffield Wednesday ace as talks over a deal have begun.