By Alex Stevens
Celtic have been told to increase their opening bid for Aston Villa winger Scott Sinclair, according to a report.
As reported by Football Insider, Celtic submitted a £2million offer for the former Manchester City player but it was rejected amid claims the player is not for sale.
The Scottish Sun claim new Villa manager Roberto Di Matteo regards Sinclair as a key asset in the team’s bid to win instant promotion to the Premier League.
However, it is said the Midlands club are playing hardball and an increased offer that meets their valuation of the 27-year-old could clinch a deal.
Celtic were told Sinclair was not going anywhere when they made their initial enquiry but that did not stop Rodgers from tabling a bid for his former midfielder.
The former Liverpool boss worked with the ex-City man when they were both at Swansea and the northern Irishman is a big fan of the player.
The left-winger starred for the Swans and Rodgers as they won promotion to the Premier League, which included a hat-trick for Sinclair at Wembley in the Championship play-off final in 2011.
However, following Tony Xia’s takeover of the Villa Park club they now have the financial firepower to keep hold of their star players including Sinclair.
The pacey winger has been at Villa for 18 months but has struggled to make a huge impact for the Midlands side, with his two goals in 27 Premier League appearances failing to prevent them from avoiding relegation in the recently completed season.
In other Aston Villa news, Stiliyan Petrov will train withVilla during pre-season.