By Amir Mir

Roberto Di Matteo has targeted Dwight Gayle for a possible summer transfer, according to a report.

The Birmingham Mail claim that newly appointed manager Roberto Di Matteo is looking to bolster the Championship club’s attack after a disappointing season up front, which saw the Midlands side find the net on just 27 occasions.

It is said that Villa have been put on red alert to the possible transfer of the Crystal Palace striker, who could be made available for transfer this summer, despite being the London club’s top scorer in all competitions last season with seven goals.

The 25-year-old was a target for then Villa manager Tim Sherwood last season, but Di Matteo reportedly wants to strengthen his attack with someone who has both Premier League and Championship pedigree.

The former Peterborough man netted on 13 occasions during his only time in the Championship three years ago, as well as on 37 occasions for Palace in his three years at the club.

Gayle who has started only eight games under Alan Pardew, rejected a £6million move from Bristol City last season, so a similar transfer fee may be accepted from the FA Cup finalists.

But it is said that relegated duo of Newcastle and Norwich City are also targeting the former non-league player as all three clubs try to find instant promotion back to the Premier League.

In other Aston Villa news, Tony Xia’s takeover of Championship club has moved a stepped closer.