Bees defender Barbet flattered by Villa interest

Yoann Barbet is flattered by interest from Aston Villa but insists he is focused on Brentford.

Barbet, whose contract expires this summer, is among several players ex-Bees boss Dean Smith is interested in taking to Villa Park from his former club.

Romaine Sawyers and Neal Maupay are also on Smith’s list of targets but Brentford are determined to keep their best players.

Barbet said: “There are a lot of rumours but it doesn’t matter for me. It doesn’t change anything. I’m focused on Brentford and the next game, and not the transfer window every time there is a rumour.

“I am out of contract so maybe that is why they talk about Villa. The manager was here, they need defenders, I can play both (left-back and centre-back).

“When you hear a big team want you or will try to sign you it makes you feel you’re a good player.

“I just stick to the positive part of it. If a big team wants me it’s because I’m doing well, so I try to carry that on as much as I can, and then we’ll see in the future.”

Barbet has been impressive in new boss Thomas Frank’s back three, which has helped to halt a poor run of results and give the Frenchman more playing time in recent weeks.

And Barbet said: “I think the back three is the way to continue if you want to climb the league.

“If you want to be a good Championship team, you need to be solid at the back. We are going in the right way and we want to carry on.

“I am pleased to play in three at the back. I’m the only left-footer and have more time on the ball, and you can take more risks to step out because there are two centre-backs still behind. But I have to play well too or I can be dropped.”