Aston Villa linked with move for £4m Dinamo Zagreb defender

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The Villans are reportedly preparing a bid for Dinamo Zagreb’s Portuguese full-back Ivo Pinto, but could face competition from Turkish giants Besiktas.

Paul Lambert could be looking towards Croatia this January, amid reports linking Aston Villa with a move for Dinamo Zagreb star Ivo Pinto.

According to various sources, the Villans could be lining up a bid for the Portuguese full-back, who is valued at around £4 million by his current club.

Pinto moved to Zagreb from CFR Cluj back in 2013 and the 24-year-old has impressed during his short time in the country, helping Dinamo to win the Croatian League last season, while also impressing in the Europa League.

But Villa could face some competition to complete a deal for the defender, with Turkish giants Besiktas also thought to be weighing up a bid for the former Portugal under-21 international.

Known for his excellent defensive work as well as his ability to burst forward with pace, Pinto could yet prove a canny purchase.

Previously on the books of Boavista and more recently Porto, the defender may also be the man to help shore up the Villans’ leaky defence.

A 0-0 draw with West Ham United at Upton Park was Villa’s first clean sheet in seven competitive games and while the Midlands club made a positive start to the top-flight season, they are now just two points off the relegation zone.

Besiktas, by contrast, sit third in the Turkish Super Lig, just two points off leaders Fenerbahce and,with Champions League football a realistic aim for next season, could provide stiff competition in the battle to land Pinto.

The 24-year-old may well have developed a taste for European football this season with Dinamo Zagreb in the Europa League that could make any bid from the Turkish side difficult to turn down.

Former Newcastle United, West Ham and Chelsea striker Demba Ba moved to Besiktas from Stamford Bridge over the summer and has excelled so far for the Istanbul side.

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