By Noel Whelan

13th Jun, 2021 | 8:00am

Aston Villa backed to strike 'bargain' for Hughes after Levanthal update - Whelan

Noel Whelan has backed Aston Villa to strike a “bargain” deal to sign Will Hughes from Watford. 

The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, suggested the 26-year-old would be a “very good” addition to Dean Smith’s squad.

As reported by the Athletic’s Adam Leventhal (June 10th), Villa are one of several Premier League sides keeping tabs on Hughes as he heads into the final year of his Watford contract.

It is said talks are underway over a five-year deal but that the Hornets could sell up if terms cannot be agreed.

Whelan suggested Villa would be ready to pounce for the former Derby man should the opportunity arise.

Whelan told Football Insider’s Russell Edge: “Even in his days at Derby, a very good player in that midfield area.

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“A very tenacious little player, not the biggest in stature but he likes to put himself around in that midfield. Probably someone that Aston Villa have looked at.

“He’s very good on the ball, brave, drives forward, can tackle. He can do pretty much everything that you want a player to do in that midfield area.

“Everyone looks for a bargain, don’t they? He’s back in the Premier League now as well with Watford. However, they’ve got that conundrum of he’s got a year to go.

“If he sees the year out, they let him go for nothing. They might need to take the money and let him loose in that current position. Aston Villa looking at it and trying to make the most of that situation.” 

Hughes played 30 times to help Watford achieve promotion from the Championship during the 2020/21 campaign.

He has 77 top-flight appearances under his belt during his time with the Hornets.

In other news, Newcastle United have been tipped to launch raid for another Aston Villa midfielder.