Aston Villa manager Dean Smith

EXCLUSIVE By Pete O’Rourke

Aston Villa have tabled a £7.5million bid for Luton Town defender James Justin, Football Insider understands.

Villa have held a long-term interest in Justin and tried to sign him during the January transfer window, but Luton managed to keep hold of him as they battled to win promotion from League One.

Dean Smith’s side have now rekindled their interest in the versatile full-back and are determined to sign Justin whether they win promotion to the Premier League or not.

A Villa source has told Football Insider the club are understood to bid in the region of £7.5million for Justin and, with rivals, chasing the defender, the price for him could still rise as the race heats up.

Justin is regarded as one of the best young defenders in the Football League after impressing at Luton over the last few seasons.

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The 21-year-old, who can play at left-back or right-back, was named in the League One Team of the Year following his impressive displays this campaign.

Justin is entering the final year of his contract at Luton and, although they would like to keep the defender, they accept they could be forced to sell him for the right offer this summer.

In other Aston Villa news, it can be REVEALED that the club are plotting a swoop to sign a Rangers 27-year-old.