Aston Villa have set aside £20million for a new centre-forward in January as they begin compiling a target list, Football Insider understands.
The Premier League club pulled the plug on adding a second striker signing to £22million arrival Wesley Moraes in the summer as they felt their targets were overpriced.
A Villa source has told Football Insider that the club’s recruitment team are scouting forwards and preparing to ready a shortlist of prospective candidates for manager Dean Smith.
The Midlands giants spent nearly £150million on new signings in the summer but feel they are still short of orthodox spearhead options.
Wesley has started all eight of Villa’s Premier League matches and made a sound start to his career at the club with four goals.
But Smith is short of proven alternatives to the Brazilian, with Keinan Davis highly rated but not regarded as ready to start league games while Jonathan Kodjia is out of contract at the end of the season.
One of Villa’s winter window priorities is a new front man capable of providing competition and cover for Wesley.
The Premier League new boys tabled offers for Neal Maupay in the summer but stepped aside when Brentford demanded £20million, the price that Brighton paid to seal a deal in August.
Villa also held talks with RB Leipzig about signing striker Jean-Kevin Augustin but he subsequently joined Monaco on a loan deal that includes an option to buy.
Smith’s side got their season going with an uplifting 5-1 win at Norwich City before the international break.
Before that match, they had scored just eight goals in their first seven league matches of the campaign.
In other Aston Villa news, it can be REVEALED that the club have set their sights on winger at north-west club ahead of January.