Brentford have got used to losing their key players on a yearly basis and Chris Mepham could be the latest highly-rated talent to leave Griffin Park.
According to The Sun, Bournemouth failed with a £10 million bid for the 20-year-old Wales international and they are expected to return with another offer in January. The Sun (2 September, page 59) add that Leicester City are interested too.
But could Aston Villa now be the new favourites in the race to sign the highly-rated centre-back?
After three stellar years at Brentford, Dean Smith left to replace Steve Bruce at his boyhood club Aston Villa on Tuesday and it is far from uncommon for managers to return to their former side in the transfer market.
Mepham blossomed into one of the Championship’s biggest talents under Smith at Griffin Park. And Aston Villa’s lack of centre-back options is well established with James Chester the only natural in the position.
And though Brentford are demanding £15 million for Mepham, The Sun add, Villa’s new owners Naseef Sawiris and Wes Edens have shown plenty of ambition and have the funds to spend big.
Now, The Mirror (2 September, page 48) claimed that Villa were eyeing another promising young centre-back in Aberdeen’s Scott McKenna.
He is valued at £10 million so perhaps the Midland giants should pay a little more to sign a proven Championship defender instead, one who Smith knows well.