Aston Villa eyes defensive overhaul, Diego Carlos could make way for new signing

Diego Carlos
Diego Carlos / Copa/GettyImages

Aston Villa, having secured Champions League qualification for the first time in 41 years, are set to strengthen their squad under the guidance of manager Unai Emery. The club's defensive frailties have been a major concern, as evidenced by heavy defeats throughout the season.

The Villains conceded a staggering 61 goals in 38 league games, emphasising the urgent need for defensive reinforcements. According to reports from Spanish outlet Sport, Aston Villa have identified Barcelona's 25-year-old centre-back Ronald Araujo as a prime target. Emery envisions Araujo as a long-term partner for Pau Torres and a potential replacement for Diego Carlos, who is reportedly on AC Milan's radar.

Araujo has been a key figure for Barcelona since 2020, playing a crucial role in the team's La Liga title triumph under Xavi in 2023. His versatility, being able to operate both as a central defender and a right-back, makes him an enticing prospect for Aston Villa.

The Uruguayan international's physical prowess and technical skills are well-suited for the demands of the Premier League, and his addition could significantly bolster Villa's defensive line.

Ronald Araujo
Ronald Araujo / Alex Caparros/GettyImages

Barcelona, grappling with financial challenges, may be willing to part ways with Araujo to generate funds for their own transfer pursuits. The Catalan giants already boast a wealth of defensive talent, including Jules Kounde, Andreas Christensen, and the promising 17-year-old Pau Cubarsi, which could make Araujo's departure more palatable. Aston Villa are reportedly preparing to table a formal offer for the defender, although the transfer fee is expected to be substantial.

Concurrently, Aston Villa are contemplating the sale of Brazilian defender Diego Carlos. The 31-year-old has been a regular fixture in Villa's lineup, but his performances have been inconsistent. With a weekly wage of £100,000 and a contract running until 2025/26, the club is assessing the financial merits of offloading him. The potential sale is part of a wider strategy to balance the books and adhere to Financial Fair Play regulations.

Aston Villa's president of football operations, Monchi, renowned for his astute transfer dealings, is expected to ensure that any departures are adequately compensated with suitable replacements. The club's hierarchy is determined to maintain a competitive squad as they embark on their Champions League journey.

As Aston Villa gear up for their return to Europe's premier competition, the potential acquisition of Ronald Araujo and the possible sale of Diego Carlos underscore the club's calculated approach to squad building.

With Unai Emery at the helm and Monchi orchestrating transfer dealings, Villa supporters can anticipate strategic moves designed to cement the team's position among Europe's elite clubs.

The coming weeks will be crucial for Aston Villa as they navigate the transfer market, seeking to address their defensive vulnerabilities while also ensuring financial stability.

The pursuit of Ronald Araujo and the potential departure of Diego Carlos are just two pieces of a larger puzzle that the club must solve to compete effectively on both domestic and European fronts.