By Tom Blackburn
Aston Villa have tabled a bid for Spain-based striker Jose Naranjo, according to a report.
Football Insider reported on Thursday ngiht that Newcastle were ready to trigger the release clause of Naranjo.
The Birmingham Mail, citing Spanish radio station Cadena Ser, claim Villa have formally tabled a bid for the Gimnastic de Tarragona player as they hope to beat Newcastle to his signature.
Naranjo had a prolific season in 2015-16, scoring 16 goals and supplying five assists in 38 matches for second-tier side Gimnastic.
The Spaniard’s prolific forward play was integral to the club finishing third in the Segunda table.
It is reported Naranjo has a £2.38million release clause in the deal he signed when joining from Recreativo in 2015, a fee well within Newcastle’s summer budget.
Naranjo has two years remaining on the contract that he signed 12 months ago.
On Thursday Football Insider also reported Roberto Di Matteos hopes of creating a tight knit group at Villa Park as he looks to remove any dead wood.
Earlier this week he gave his first press conference alongside ambitious new owner Tony Xia, and revealed the hope of signing Bournemouth club captain Tommy Elphick in the coming days.
The Italian is expected to make big changes to the squad that finished 17 points adrift of safety in the Premier League this season.
In other Aston Villa news, Xia has set out an ambitious five year plan for the club.