Ex-teammate names frontrunners in Aston Villa, Wolves and Leicester race for Abraham

Aston Villa have an advantage over their rivals in the race to re-sign Tammy Abraham from Chelsea, according to Alan Hutton.

The former Villa defender, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, admitted the striker’s previous loan spell could give Dean Smith a “leg up” to strike a deal.

As revealed by Football Insider, Villa are readying the groundwork for a potential £40million deal for the 23-year-old.

It is understood Villa face competition from Premier League rivals Wolves and Leicester City for his capture.

Abraham spent the 2018/19 campaign on loan at Villa Park, with 26 goals under his belt.

Hutton, who played alongside the striker, insisted he would be welcomed back with open arms by the dressing room.

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However, he did suggest interest from Champions League clubs may throw a spanner in the works.

Asked if his loan spell would give Villa an advantage, Hutton told Football Insider’s Russell Edge: Yeah. Obviously, he will know what it’s all about. He knows Dean Smith, probably most of the players that are there, how the club works, what the fans are like.

“They would welcome him back with open arms. He’s a fantastic lad, with his ability on the pitch. I think it does give Villa a little leg up, but it really depends on what size of club comes in for him.

“I know for a fact he’s the top teams will be looking at him. That’s maybe the only downfall from an Aston Villa point of view.

“If there’s teams out there that are in the Champions League, looking for him to be the main striker, I mean that can obviously turn your head.

“A player like Tammy deserves to be playing at the highest level and that’s the Champions League.”

Abraham played alongside the likes of current Villa stars Jack Grealish, John McGinn and Tyrone Mings during his loan spell.

He has fallen out of favour since Thomas Tuchel joined Chelsea, with just seven appearances under the German boss.

He has netted 12 times in 32 games for the Blues this term.

In other news, Football Insider can reveal another Premier League attacker is a top target for Aston Villa this summer.