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Report: Di Matteo steps up pursuit of Premier League ace, Aston Villa not put off by demands

By Alex Taylor

Aston Villa are chasing Watford goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon, according to reports.

The Mirror claim that the 29-year-old is unwilling to take a pay cut to trade Vicarage Road for Villa Park this summer.

But the Birmingham outfit are still keen to push for a move for the 6ft 8in shot stopper anyway and it is said a deal is possible. 

The Italian keeper joined Watford on a three and-a-half year deal from Sunderland in January.

Roberto Di Matteo is believed to have been in the hunt for a new goalkeeper to replace Brad Guzan in the Aston Villa goal since his arrival in June.

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Pantilimon is currently number two at Watford behind Heurelho Gomes and could be tempted to drop down to the Championship in search of regular football.

Despite playing second fiddle between the sticks at Watford, Pantilimon still featured 21 times this season, keeping five clean sheets in the process.

The Romania keeper has two years left on his contract and after long spells at both Manchester City and Sunderland, will be hoping to stay in English football.

In other Aston Villa news, striker Gabby Agbonlahor is expecting his club to spend big this summer in search of an immediate return to the top flight.