Mail: Aston Villa linked with free transfer swoop for Marcus Bettinelli

Aston Villa are reportedly interested in Marcus Bettinelli on a free transfer as we look to add depth in the goalkeeping ranks ahead of the new season.

Villa saw Tom Heaton leave this summer after his contract expired, while Lovre Kalinic has since joined Hajduk Split on loan for the season.

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In turn, that has left Dean Smith with a shortage of back-up options behind first-choice shot-stopper Emiliano Martinez, and so a new signing in that department is expected in the coming weeks.

As reported by the Daily Mail, Villa are said to have set their sights on Bettinelli, with the 29-year-old currently a free agent after leaving Fulham.

However, it’s added that both Arsenal and Chelsea are among the clubs showing interest in him, and so it remains to be seen if we face a battle to land his signature.

Bettinelli made over 100 appearances for Fulham during his time at the club, while he featured 42 times for Middlesbrough last season during a loan spell.

With plenty of experience behind him, he could be a sensible solution to compete alongside Jed Steer behind Martinez and give us enough options between the posts across the season to ensure we’re not left short-handed.

Given how impressive Martinez has been since he arrived at Villa last summer, Smith won’t need to see the club spend big on another goalkeeper, and so if Bettinelli can be snapped up on a free transfer and bolster the goalkeeping department, it could be a sensible move to allow us to focus our funds elsewhere in the coming weeks.