Lazio centre-back Michael Ciani is a potential transfer target for Aston Villa, according to the Times.
Ciani, 30, is out of contract in the summer and will be allowed to leave the Italian capital for a minimal fee this month, having been in and out of the line-up so far this season.
The Frenchman has been linked with a move to the Premier League in the past, with the Daily Mail reporting interest from both Crystal Palace and West Ham United in the summer, but now Villa manager Paul Lambert could be set to lodge a bid.
On the surface, the claret and blues don’t appear to have a desperate need for help at the back, with Jores Okore, Ciaran Clark, Nathan Baker and Philippe Senderos all performing well when fit, but captain Ron Vlaar’s uncertain future remains a concern.
Bringing in more experience ahead of a potential relegation battle wouldn’t go amiss, although Villa could well face competition for his signature, with France Football reporting last week that Fenerbahce, Galatasaray, Olympiakos, Stuttgart and Toulouse are also among the interested clubs.
A one-time capped international, Ciani joined Lazio from Bordeaux in the summer of 2012 in a reported €2 million deal, and has made seven Serie A appearances this season for a total of 480 minutes.