By Harry Sykes
Aston Villa are preparing to match Premier League duo Crystal Palace and West Brom by lodging a £12million offer for Leicester wide man Jeffrey Schlupp, according to a report.
The Guardian claim the Midlands giants have turned their attention to signing the Premier League speed machine, who is renowned as one of the quickest players in English football.
It is said that Palace, who had a £9.5million offer rejected for Schlupp earlier this week, will return to the negotiating table with a £12million bid.
The London club face strong competition for the player from West Brom and Villa, who are ready to match that offer.
The three-horse race for the Premier League champion, 24, increases the possibility that he will leave the King Power Stadium this month.
The versatile Schlupp is keen to play regular football after failing to nail down a starting place in Claudio Ranieri’s team.
He has made just eight competitive appearances this season and has not been in the matchday squad for any of the last six matches in a clear sign that his time at the club is up.
Leicester are willing to listen to offers for the Ghana international, who can play at left-back or on the left side of midfield.
Schlupp has two and a half years remaining on his Leicester contract.
Football Insider verdict:
Schlupp could rip it up in the Championship. His electric pace would be a huge asset in the final third, whether as an overlapping full-back or in a more advanced midfield role. Villa would be getting a proven performer with his best years ahead of him. £12million might appear a bit steep for a Leicester reserve but he has the quality and potential to make a big impression at Villa Park.
In other Aston Villa transfer news, the club have lodged a quick bid for a Premier League ace and have offered one of their strikers in exchange.