Aston Villa are reportedly considering a summer move for Rangers defender Filip Helander, with manager Steven Gerrard an admirer of the Swede.
According to Football Insider, Premier League outfit Aston Villa are interested in raiding Scottish giants Rangers for the signing of Filip Helander in the upcoming transfer window.
Formerly of Malmo, Helander left his homeland of Sweden in 2015 to sign for Italian outfit Hellas Verona. A year later, the centre-back joined Bologna on a loan deal, with the transfer being made permanent in 2017. He made 63 appearances for the Serie A club before Rangers came calling in the summer of 2019.
Helander missed a large chunk of his debut season in Scotland due to a foot injury. However, he went on to play a key role in their Premiership triumph under Steven Gerrard in the 2020/21 season. But, the ongoing campaign has again been an injury-riddled one for the 28-year-old, who has played just 11 times so far. Overall, he has made 60 appearances for Rangers.
Despite his injury ordeals, Helander has an admirer in Gerrard, who is now seeking a reunion with his former ward at Aston Villa. The Villans’ manager is keen on bolstering his underperforming defence in the summer transfer window, as Ezri Konsa and Tyrone Mings have underperformed this term.
Mings, in particular, has shown a sharp decline in form, which has compelled Gerrard and Aston Villa to scour the market for a new left-footed centre-back who can be an upgrade on the club captain.
It has led Gerrard to his former employers, Rangers, with Filip Helander now popping up on the radars of Aston Villa as a target. The 28-year-old’s injury problems are a concern for the manager. But he is also aware of the qualities that the Swedish international would bring to the table, having worked with him for over two years in Scotland.
Helander is currently sidelined with a fresh foot injury and is unlikely to play again this season. His contract with Rangers expires at the end of the next season, potentially making him available at a bargain price. However, it remains to be seen if Villa are prepared to take a gamble on the 28-year-old, considering his tryst with injuries.
Apart from Helander, Aston Villa are also keeping tabs on Attila Szalai of Fenerbahce, another left-sided centre-back with his best years in front of him.