By Wayne Veysey

14th Jun, 2019 | 5:19pm

Exclusive: Blackburn set sights on signing player leaving Aston Villa

By Pete O’Rourke

Blackburn Rovers have set their sights on signing Glenn Whelan on a free transfer after his release from Aston Villa, Football Insider understands.

Villa announced at the start of June that Whelan is leaving the club when his contract expires at the end of this month.

A Rovers source has told Football Insider that manager Tony Mowbray has made a new defensive midfielder one of his top targets this summer and Whelan fits the bill for him.

The 35-year-old is keen to continue playing after spending the last two seasons at Villa and helping them win promotion back to the Premier League with victory over Derby in the Championship play-off final.

Whelan made 38 appearances in all competitions for Villa last season, scoring one goal and providing three assists.

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However, the club opted not to renew his contract now they are back in the Premier League after three seasons in the second tier.

Whelan would bring a lot of experience to a young Blackburn side having made over 560 first-team appearances in his career as well as winning 85 caps for the Republic of Ireland.

In other Aston Villa news, it can be REVEALED that the club are plotting a move to sign a Chelsea player available for FREE.