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Report: Villa closing in on £1M English defender

Following the hectic, non-stop news cycle that Villa fans saw on Friday and Saturday, the weekend gave way to a lazy Sunday for Villa news. There was, however, one report of interest, from The Sun - communicating that Villa were very close to the £1 million signing of Barnsley's Mason Holgate.

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With Tim Sherwood's knack for youth player development, it appears that he has set his sights on another new youngster to bring to Villa Park.

Sherwood has scouted all the way to the Football League 1 to find Barnsley defender Mason Holgate as a potential reinforcement for the claret and blue.

Holgate has also recently rejected a contract offer from Barnsley, making his exit more apparent, and giving notice to potential suitors, Villa being the frontrunner.

He is reportedly valued at about £1 million, with Sherwood being willing to match his asking price, and the prospect of joining a Premier League team is an opportunity which Holgate would find difficult to turn down.

Holgate can play both right back and centre back, similar in position flexibility to that shown by Micah Richards. Holgate, at only 18 years of age, would have plenty of time to develop and potentially mature into a quality Premier League defender, should Sherwood finish the deal.

He appeared 20 times for Barnsley last year in the League One, contributing one goal and one assist.

It remains to be seen if Holgate will be able to progress to the point of being a first team player any time soon, but with how we saw Tim Sherwood manage the likes of 16 year old Rushian Hepburn-Murphy last season, it is not a stretch to say that we could see Holgate on the Villa bench for Premier League games very soon, if his transfer is completed.

Villa are faced with a shortage of reliable and creative outside backs, but it remains to be seen whether Holgate would feature as a centre back or right back under Sherwood, or perhaps both.

Do you think £1 million is too much to pay for a player with only one year of League One experience under his belt, or do you think that it is a gamble worth taking? Let us know!