By Tom Blackburn
Aston Villa full-back Joe Bennett is closing in on a permanent move to Championship rivals Sheffield Wednesday, according to a report.
Bennett spent the second half of last season on loan at Hillsborough and, despite only playing three times for the Yorkshire giants, Owls manager Carlos Carvalhal is keen to bring him back up north.
The Birmingham Mail claim that the two clubs will close a deal for the left-back within 24 hours after he was left out of the Villa squad against Wednesday on Sunday.
It is said Bennett has decided to quit Villa after manager Roberto Di Matteo told him at the weekend that he free to find a new club.
Bennett signed for the Midlands club in 2012 for then-manager Paul Lambert, but the young defender has seen his game time restricted to only 30 appearances in four years.
He also spent time on loan at Bournemouth last season, but he never made an appearance for the seasiders.
Last week Bennett appeared to be fighting for a spot in the Villa side, and he approached Sundays game by praising their fans.
However, Di Matteo chose to start Aly Cissokho at left-back with fan favourite Jordan Amavi also picked in the squad after a lengthy injury lay-off.
In other Aston Villa transfer news, they are braced for a bid from rivals this week for their star man.