According to a report by Gianluca Di Marzio, Aston Villa have been linked with Juventus man Nicola Leali.
The Villans are seemingly in the hunt for a new goalkeeper this summer as newly appointed boss Roberto Di Matteo looks to build from the back in his bid to earn an immediate promotion to the Premier League.
The report goes on to say that Villa have competition from both Deportivo La Coruna and Leganes. But while the shot-stopper is said to prefer a move to La Liga, in Di Matteo Villa have a potential trump card.
Many supporters at Villa Park may be unfamiliar with the Juventus youngster, so here are five facts about the player which may be of interest:
1) Leali, born in Castiglione delle Stivieri, is a 6ft 4inch Italian goalkeeper who began his career at Brescia.
2) After getting games under his belt at Serie B level, Juventus signed him in 2012 only to immediately loan him out to Virtus Lanciano where he went on to make 37 appearances for the second tier side.
3) Leali’s good form at youth level prompted international recognition with Italy. He played at least once for all the Italian youth teams, starting at under-16 level before featuring in the under-21 European Championships in 2013.
4) The 23-year-old also had loan spells at Spezia, Cesena and Frosinone, the latter two being Serie A sides after earning promotion for the second tier.
5) He played in a total of 50 top flight games combined over the past two seasons for Cesena and Frosinone and many see him as Gianluigi Buffon’s natural successor for the Azzurri.