By Harvey Byrne

Stiliyan Petrov will train with Aston Villa during pre-season, the club announced on Thursday afternoon.

The Championship outfit confirmed on their official club website that the former Bulgaria international will take part in first-team training in the build-up to next season.

New manager Roberto Di Matteo has revealed the former club captain will travel with the group to Austria as he joins the squad at their training camp.

It was reported in April that Petrov wanted to make a return to professional football and had set his sights on playing for ex-club Villa.

The Bulgarian midfielder was Villa captain when he was diagnosed with leukaemia in 2012 and was forced to quit the game at 32 .

However Petrov, who turns 37 in July is planning an incredible comeback, as he looks to rejoin the Villa squad ahead of their 2016-17 Championship campaign.

Petrov spent seven years as a player at Villa after joining the club from Celtic in 2006 for a fee of around £6.5million when he became the first signing of former manager Martin O’Neill.

The central midfielder starred in 206 matches for the Midlands side and quickly became a fan favourite.

As well as being a favourite in England he’s also thought of very favourably north of the border, as he made 288 appearances for Scotland giants Celtic.

The two clubs featured in a charity match in honour of Petrov in 2013.

The player affectionately known as ‘Stan’ has been part of the Villa coaching staff since 2015, initially in the club’s academy.

In other Aston Villa news, Burnley are eyeing a swoop for a £35,000-a-week star of the Midlands club.