Aston Villa set to secure La Liga defender in free transfer deal

Mario Hermoso
Mario Hermoso / Diego Souto/GettyImages

Aston Villa have surged ahead of the competition in their pursuit of Atlético Madrid defender Mario Hermoso. With the Spanish international's contract set to expire this summer, Villa's proactive approach could see them land a valuable asset on a free transfer, bolstering their defensive ranks for the 2024/25 season.

Manager Unai Emery's swift move for Hermoso highlights his tactical acumen and the club's ambitions. The 28-year-old centre-back boasts a wealth of La Liga and Champions League experience, potentially becoming a cornerstone of Villa's defence alongside the likes of Pau Torres and Tyrone Mings. His ability to also cover the left-back position adds valuable versatility to Emery's options.

Securing a player of Hermoso's calibre on a free transfer aligns perfectly with Villa's strategic approach to squad building. With the club currently enjoying a strong Premier League campaign and ambitions of European competition, adding Hermoso demonstrates their intent to challenge at the highest levels.

Despite Villa's early lead, the race for Hermoso's signature remains open. European giants like Barcelona, Juventus, and AC Milan are also reportedly circling. However, Villa's strong project under Emery and the promise of consistent playing time could tip the scales in their favour.

Hermoso, who rose through the ranks of Real Madrid's youth system before becoming an Atlético Madrid regular, possesses invaluable top-flight experience. This, combined with his tactical flexibility, makes him a highly desirable acquisition.

Should Villa secure his services, it would represent a significant coup – signing a seasoned defender with Champions League pedigree without breaking the bank.

The potential acquisition of Mario Hermoso marks an exciting development for Aston Villa. Their proactive approach and the player's contract situation create a compelling opportunity to upgrade their squad for the upcoming season.

While the competition for Hermoso's signature is fierce, Villa's position as frontrunners puts them in a strong position to make a statement signing that reinforces their ambitious trajectory.