Aston Villa have reportedly entered the race for the signing of Stoke City defender Harry Souttar, who is also a transfer target for Everton.

According to an exclusive report from Football Insider, Aston Villa are the latest entrants in pursuit of Stoke City’s Australian centre-back Harry Souttar, who is also being chased by their Premier League rivals Everton.

Souttar has been with Stoke City since 2016, when he made the switch from Scottish club Dundee United. However, it was only after a few loan stints away with Ross County and Fleetwood Town that he became a regular in the starting XI for the Potters last season.

To date, Souttar has made 56 appearances for Stoke City, scoring two goals and setting up three more. He has missed just one EFL Championship game in the ongoing campaign and has even captained the team on several occasions already, highlighting his importance within the side.

Standing at a towering 1.98m, Souttar offers an imposing presence at the back as well as in the opposition box and has the physicality needed to deal with the rough and tumble of the Premier League. His growth with Stoke has clearly not gone unnoticed with clubs in the top-flight now lining up to sign the Australian international.

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Everton have registered with an interest in Souttar recently and now they have seemingly been joined by Aston Villa in the race to sign the 22-year-old defender. The Villans have recently shifted to a three-man defensive unit, with manager Dean Smith seemingly sticking by it in their latest encounters.

Tyrone Mings and Ezri Konsa have been regulars in the side, with Kortney Hause and Axel Tuanzebe the other options at the heart of the Villa defence. However, the former is in the final year of his contract and could leave on a free transfer while the latter is only on loan from Manchester United, although it has been said that he would be keen on a permanent switch to Villa Park.

Nonetheless, a new centre-back would be a wise addition if Smith plans to continue using the three-man defensive unit. Souttar, who plays in a similar system at Stoke, would thus be a good option to consider. However, Aston Villa will have to face off Everton in the battle for the signing of the 22-year-old Australian.

The Toffees have a well-stocked defensive contingent with Michael Keane, Yerry Mina, Mason Holgate and Ben Godfrey. However, Mina is seemingly keen on securing a move to the Serie A, which would leave an opening in the rearguard that manager Rafael Benitez would have to address, making Souttar a viable target for the Merseysiders.

The 22-year-old is contracted to Stoke till the summer of 2025 and could command a significant transfer fee. It will be interesting to see if either Aston Villa or Everton act on their interest in the Australian in the coming transfer windows.

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