Smith has reportedly wanted Aston Villa target Bjorn Engels for years

Dean Smith, Manager of Aston Villa during the Sky Bet Championship match between Aston Villa and Leeds United at Villa Park on December 23, 2018 in Birmingham, England.

Reims' Ligue 1 defender Bjorn Engels is reportedly joining Premier League newcomers Aston Villa with Dean Smith getting a player he wanted at Brentford.

Bjorn Engels of Reims during the French Cup match between Toulouse and Reims at Stadium Municipal on January 22, 2019 in Toulouse, France.

Aston Villa’s impending move for Reims defender Bjorn Engels is the result of many years work from both Dean Smith and Jesus Garcia Pitarch.

L’Equipe broke the news on Thursday that the Midland giants are set to make the former Club Brugge and Olympiakos defender their latest summer signing with Engels set to strengthen a backline which has already been reinforced by the combined £40 million arrivals of Tyrone Mings and Ezri Konsa.

 

The report claimed that Villa are in advanced negotiations to sign the Belgian, who only recently joined Reims for £3.5 million after an impressive loan spell in Ligue 1.

And this is one deal that Smith will be all too happy to sign off on.

Reims' Belge defender Bjorn Engels (R) vies Nimes' forward Renaud Ripart during the French L1 football match between Reims And Nimes on May 4, 2019 at the Auguste Delaune Stadium in Reims....

After all, Het Laaste Nieuws claims that Engels has been on his radar for years. The 48-year-old even tried to sign the him for Brentford with the centre-half's composure in possession and excellent passing range meaning he should be a perfect fit for the coach’s free-flowing style.

Pitarch, Aston Villa’s sporting director, has also been more than aware of Engels’ potential ever since he made his name in Belgium with Brugge.

It seems that he and Smith just happen to share a long-time admiration for a player who, after previous interest from Fulham, is closing in on a long-awaited move to the Premier League.

Reims' South Korean forward Hyun Jun Suk (L) and Belgium defender Bjorn Engels (R) vie for the ball with Rennes' forward Mbaye Niang (C) during the French L1 football match between Reims...

Have something to tell us about this article?

Register for ASTON VILLA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch