EXCLUSIVE By Pete O’Rourke

Aston Villa are planning a move for Mansfield Town winger CJ Hamilton after sending scouts to watch him in action, Football Insider understands.

Hamilton has enjoyed an outstanding season to date with Mansfield and is regarded as one of the most exciting attackers in the Football League.

West Bromwich Albion and Preston have both made enquiries for Hamilton during this month’s transfer window, but now Villa are set to join the chase for the former Sheffield United man.

A well-placed source has told Football Insider that Villa scouts watch Hamilton in Tuesday’s League Two win over Crawley Town and they have now launched a bid to land the 23-year-old in January.

Hamilton has netted seven goals and laid on seven assists so far this season to boost Mansfield’s bid for promotion from League Two.

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The flying winger’s performances have brought him to the attention of several clubs higher up the football pyramid and Mansfield are bracing themselves for bids for Hamilton, but they are keen to keep hold of him as they look to try and win promotion this season.

In other Aston Villa transfer news, the club have made a move to sign a Sheffield Wednesday ace as talks over a deal have begun.