Premier League strugglers Villa and Watford are targeting a Croatian World Cup finalist who is earning a staggering £56k-a-week.

Aston Villa and Watford are going head-to-head to sign Besiktas stopper Domagoj Vida in the January transfer window, according to Turkish Football.

A 30-year-old centre-back with 79 international caps under his belt and a World Cup final on his CV, a battle-scarred Croatian who loves nothing more than throwing his body on the line to preserve a clean sheet is in the sights of two of the Premier League’s relegation threatened sides.

Aston Villa are above the drop zone on goal difference alone and Sunday’s 4-1 home defeat to Leicester City once again exposed a vulnerable underbelly that threatens to undermine their impressive, forward-thinking style.

And it is no secret that Watford are crying out for a bit of extra strength at the back, having conceded 30 goals already while sitting six points from safety.

Fortunately for Villa and Watford, Besiktas will be forced to listen to offers for arguably the most in-form centre-back in Turkish football next month. The Istanbul-based giants are embroiled in a financial nightmare and Vida, who is their best-paid player with an eye-watering £56,000-a-week salary, could be sacrificed.

The former Bayer Leverkusen and Dinamo Zagreb powerhouse would surely bring invaluable experience and a fierce winning mentality to Aston Villa or Watford, giving two of the Premier League’s most vulnerable sides the platform they need to push for survival.

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