Aston Villa in ‘advanced negotiations’ to sign Reims defender Björn Engels – L’Equipe

As per a report from French outlet L’Equipe (via GFFN), Aston Villa are closing on the signing of Reims star Bjorn Engels.

Villa seal Premier League return

Dean Smith’s Villa went head-to-head with Derby County in the Championship playoff final late in May.

The Villans booked their spot in the showpiece courtesy of a nail-biting penalty shootout victory over fierce rivals West Brom.

Frank Lampard’s Derby, meanwhile, advanced to the playoff finale courtesy of a stunning second-leg comeback win over Leeds United.

When all was said and done at Wembley, though, only one side could seal a return to English football’s top-tier, with an entertaining affair having eventually seen Villa emerge victorious.

Anwar El Ghazi’s stooping header put the Claret and Blue ahead on the stroke of half-time, before John McGinn capitalized on a poor piece of goalkeeping from Kelle Roos to double their advantage.

Martyn Waghorn did manage to pull one back for Derby 10 minutes from time to set up a tense close to proceedings, but, in the end, Villa held on.

Villa clearout

As such, Dean Smith’s side will be plying their trade back in the Premier League next season for the first time since 2015/16.

The board at Villa Park, though, evidently felt as though their squad required a major overhaul this summer, in order to compete with English football’s top clubs.

This was confirmed when the Villans released a hefty 8 players at the beginning of last month:

On the arrival front, meanwhile, to this point, all of Wesley, Jota, Ezri Konsa and Matt Targett have been added to Dean Smith’s squad, while the respective loans of Tyrone Mings, Anwar El Ghazi and Kortney Hause have been made permanent.

Reims stopper

And, as per the aforementioned update from L’Equipe this evening, the Villans’ hierarchy are still hard at work.

In fact, yet another player is said to be close to sealing a move to Villa Park.

The individual in question is Reims star Bjorn Engels.

24-year-old central defender Engels played a crucial role in the backline of Reims last season, starting in 33 of Les Rouge et Blanc’s 38 Ligue 1 outings.

The performances of the towering stopper, capped twice by Belgium at U21-level, meanwhile, certainly did not go unnoticed across Europe.

As such, despite having only seen his move to Reims from Olympiacos made permanent in March, Engels looks set to be on the move once again imminently.

L’Equipe claim that negotiations between Aston Villa and the French outfit are at an ‘advanced’ stage, with a transfer inching towards completion.

There is no mention, however, of the fee involved.

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