By Amir Mir

Aston Villa are keeping close tabs on Preston left-back Greg Cunningham, according to a report.

HITC ‘are reporting that the Midlands club are weighing up a move for the defender who was named Preston’s players’ player of the year and fans player of the year last season.

The Republic of Ireland international joined Deepdale from Bristol City last summer on a two-year deal, andsince his arrival he has played 46 games in all competitions and has been a pivotal part into the club’s survival last term.

It is said that manager Roberto Di Matteo is weighing up his options as he continues to add to his squad after three summer signings.

Defender Tommy Elphick joined from Bournemouth for a fee of £3 million, midfielder Aaron Tshibola and goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini joined on long-term contracts.

Villa already have three senior left-backs at the club, Jordan Amavi, Joe Bennett and Aly Cissokho.

Fan favourite Amavi recently returned from injury, Bennett has not played first team football for over a year and Cissokho returned in January after his loan spell at Porto was cut short.

Villa could cash in on Amavi, who signed from Nice last summer and has four-years left on his Villa contract but relegation to the second tier of English football has prompted interest from across Europe in the 22-year-old.

French outlet L’Equipe previously reported that Premier League club Liverpool were considering a £10.8million swoop for the highly rated youngster.

In other Aston Villa news, manager Roberto Di Matteo has pin pointed which player has impressed him during pre-season in Austria.