According to a report from Sky Sports News, Aston Villa are eyeing a move for Hertha BSC defender John Anthony Brooks. The 21-year-old has spent his entire youth a professional career with Hertha but is apparently beginning to draw interest from bigger clubs both in Germany and abroad, with Everton and Newcastle among the potential suitors named in the report. Brooks is one of the more promising members of the United States national team's new generation and received a surprise call-up to the World Cup squad from coach Jurgen Klinsmann, beating out seasoned US internationals Clarence Goodson and Michael Parkhurst for a spot in the team.
Brooks is a player with a tremendous amount of potential, and would likely walk into Villa's first team over Philippe Senderos, Ciaran Clark, and Nathan Baker. With Jores Okore looking ready to take a step forward next season, signing Brooks would give Villa two of the most promising young centerbacks in the Premier League. Brooks has already proven himself at a level equal to (if not better than) the Premier League and though young centerbacks are always a risky proposition, Brooks is the kind of signing that Villa should absolutely be trying to make; a young player ready to take the next step in what will probably be a very good career, that will likely command a hefty fee when the time comes for him to move on from Villa.
Pity then that Villa are almost certainly not going to be signing him. For one, this your classic "Sky Sports understands that [30 different clubs] have an interest in [player that 90% of clubs worldwide would love to sign]" kind of report. For another, Villa's the kind of club it would make sense for Brooks to sign with were they not a flaming crater of a mess at the moment; it would take some pretty tremendous salesmanship to convince someone with such a promising future to move to a club in such disarray. Finally-and probably most importantly-Villa's almost certainly not going to be paying transfer fees this summer, unless they're somehow able to sell some of their current players for real, actual currency.
Unrealistic transfer rumors are always kind of depressing (remember when Villa were going to sign Philippe Coutinho/Remy Cabella/Steven Defour/Lewis Holtby?) but this summer they're looking to be significantly more depressing than usual. Unless Randy Lerner shocks everyone by making funds available or another club actually expresses interest in Darren Bent, literally any move that would require a transfer fee is off the table. That sucks a lot, because World Cup years always see a ton of movement, and for a club that just barely escaped the drop last season it's not a good thing at all to stand pat.