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Aston Villa keeping tabs on Barnsley skipper Marc Roberts

Villa are keeping tabs on Barnsley skipper Marc Roberts as boss Steve Bruce looks to bolster his defence this summer.

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Marc Roberts

The boss will be in the market for a centre-back and Roberts is the latest player to be linked, with Bristol City’s Aden Flint also thought to be on the club’s radar.

Roberts scooped Barnsley’s player-of-the-season prize after an impressive campaign and his suitors include Premier League Burnley, who were close to signing the 26-year-old during the January transfer window.

Villa’s defence performed solidly for much of the season and they kept eight clean sheets after the January additions of left-back Neil Taylor and goalkeeper Sam Johnstone.

But Bruce is conscious of a lack of strength in depth behind the first choice centre-back pairing of James Chester and Nathan Baker.

Micah Richards struggled for much of the campaign with injury, while Tommy Elphick experienced inconsistent form following his £3million move from Bournemouth 12 months ago.

Both could be included in a summer clear-out, which will see up to 10 players depart the club in order to help free up funds.

Wolfsburg winger Anton Donkor is a player who remains on Villa’s list of targets, after the 19-year-old experienced a frustrating loan spell at Everton during the second half of the season.

Donkor failed to make an appearance for the Toffees before his time on Merseyside was cut short by injury. Villa may now decide to revive their interest during the upcoming window.