By Wayne Veysey

17th Mar, 2020 | 4:00pm

Exclusive: Aston Villa set sights on signing Wolves defender after encouragement

Aston Villa are plotting a summer raid for Wolves defender Dion Sanderson as they look to strengthen their leaky backline, Football Insider understands.

The centre-back, 20, joined Cardiff City on loan from the Premier League high flyers in January and is due to return to Molineux at the end of this season.

A Villa source has told Football Insider that the club have been keeping close tabs on Sanderson with a view to trying to take him on loan next term.

They are likely to face strong competition for the temporary signature of the rising star.

Cardiff have been impressed by Sanderson and are keen on signing him on loan for the entirety of next season.

Wolves could have a big decision to make on the destination versatile defender, who can play at right-back or centre-back.

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He is highly rated at Molineux after progressing from the the club’s youth ranks to make his first-team debut, ironically against Villa, last October October.

But they have given early encouragement to possible suitors they will loan him out again next season.

The centre-back, who is the nephew of Olympic gold medallist javelin thrower Tessa Sanderson, was initially on the fringes at Cardiff.

But he started their three league matches, all at right-back, before the Championship season was postponed until 3 April.

Villa have had the worst defence in the Premier League this season, conceding 56 goals from 28 matches despite a £125 transfer spend last summer.

In other Aston Villa news, it can be REVEALED that the club owners have made up their minds to AXE senior figure in ruthless move.