Aston Villa have set their sights on signing Burnley star Dwight McNeil this summer, Football Insider can exclusively reveal.
The Midlands giants are in the market to bring in two wide forwards, as revealed by this site earlier this month, as they prepare for more big spending.
A Villa source has told Football Insider that McNeil, 21, is one of the top targets of their recruitment team and they are lining up a huge bid for him.
The left-winger signed a new contract with Burnley last October that runs until 2024 and has the option of a further year.
That protected the value of the Rochdale-born rising star and ensures any suitors will have to spend big to prise him from Turf Moor.
But that will not put off Villa, who have already paid out around £250million on transfers during the reign of Wes Edens and Naseef Sawiris and are set for another major summer spree.
The plan is to sign two senior forwards who can play out wide, either side of the main striker, in Dean Smith’s favoured 4-2-3-1 formation.
The hope of the Villa hierarchy is that the promise of some top-level stars signing will show Jack Grealish he should commit to his boyhood club for the 2021-22 campaign.
Villa’s need for new wide men has also increased after Trezeguet tore his anterior cruciate ligament against Liverpool and is set to be sidelined for up to a year.
McNeil has been targeted after being identified as a hugely promising attacker proven in the Premier League at opening up defences and creating and scoring chances.
He has already made 102 appearances for Burnley, scoring seven goals and supplying 16 assists.
McNeil produced an outstanding display against Villa in January, scoring in a 3-2 win for Burnley at Turf Moor.