By Will Butcher
Aston Villa are set to be overlooked by transfer target Jeffrey Schlupp as the Leicester ace has Premier League options, according to a report.
The Birmingham Mail claim Villa are battling to land Schlupp but face top-flight opposition from Crystal Palace, who have had their initial offer for the player rejected, and Midlands rivals West Brom.
The 24-year-old Premier League champion, who can play left-back or on the left of midfield, was the subject of a £9million bid from Palace which was rejected on Monday.
Schlupp has fallen out of favour at the King Power Stadium, with Christian Fuchs remaining as the Foxes undisputed first-choice left-back. Demarai Gray, Ahmed Musa and Marc Albrighton are all ahead of him in the left-midfield pecking order.
He has been left out of the Leicester squad for the last six Premier League games in a clear sign that his time at Leicester has come to an end.
Manager Claudio Ranieri is prepared to listen to offers for his number 15, but a fee is yet to be agreed between the Foxes and any interested clubs.
Villa are keen, but the Ghana international is likely to choose to remain in the top flight. West Brom are said to be favourites after having a £12million offer rejected last summer.
Football Insider verdict:
There is no doubt that someone of Schlupp’s quality would be an immense signing at Villa Park. His pace and ability to reach the byline could bring the best out of striker Jonathan Kodjia, when he returns from the Africa Cup of Nations. Also offering cover at left-back, Villa are almost bringing in two players for the price of one. However, after West Brom were knocked back in their attempts to sign Schlupp in the summer with a bid of £12million and Palace have had an offer of £9million rejected on Monday, other alternatives should be considered by Bruce. Even if he could persuade Schlupp to drop down a division, £12million is a lot of money and owner Tony Xia is unlikely to sanction the move at that price.
In other Aston Villa transfer news, Bruce’s side are reportedly winning the race to re-sign this available Premier League star.