By Wayne Veysey

7th Oct, 2021 | 12:22pm

Sources: Aston Villa set sights on Souttar as club braced for bid

Aston Villa have joined the chase for Stoke City’s goalscoring defender Harry Souttar, Football Insider can exclusively reveal.

The 6ft 5in defender has started the season in top form for the Championship side and they are braced for January bids.

A Villa source has told Football Insider that Souttar is a target for the club’s recruitment team going into the new year.

Everton have recently been linked with the Australia international, who has an incredible scoring record for the team of six goals in five matches.

Souttar has a contract at Stoke that runs until the summer of 2025.

He penned a new long-term deal in February after establishing himself as a key part of Michael O’Neill’s squad.

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The 22-year-old featured in 43 Championship games last term and has started 10 of their 11 league games this season.

The defender has even captained the side on occasion in the absence of regular skipper Joe Allen.

Souttar plays in a back three for Stoke and Aston Villa have recently made the switch to a 3-5-2 formation.

Dean Smith changed his system to match Chelsea last month and has stuck with it despite their 3-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge.

Kortney Hause has started alongside Tyrone Mings and Ezri Konsa in the last two Premier League games but is out of contract at the end of the season.

Axel Tuanzebe is also an option for Smith but he is set to return to parent club Man United at the end of the season.

In other news, two “excellent” Aston Villa players may be fuming with teammates after the latest.