Tim Sherwood is set to undergo his first transfer window as Villa head coach, and a report in the Northern Echo claims that he is keen on signing George Friend from Middlesbrough to bolster his defensive ranks.
Friend, a 27-year-old left-back, moved to Boro in 2012 and is considered one of the best defenders in the Championship. He reached the play-off final with the Teeside outfit this season, falling at the last hurdle after a defeat to Norwich City.
An occasional captain of the side, he made 48 appearances in all competitions this season, scoring one goal and registering two assists, improving his already impressive reputations with displays of defensive solidly and attacking prowess.
Also able to play in the centre of defence, it is the left-back position where he is strongest, and is known to get forward and attack at every opportunity.
Having missed out on promotion to the top flight, Boro are keen to keep ahold of their best players to push for the Premier League next season, but Friend is one who will have many admirers this summer.
Villa are the first to show an interest in him, and with Kieran Richardson the most frequent selection at left-back this season, Friend would be big step up in quality in the defensive department for Sherwood, as he looks to start moving the club forward next season.