Aston Villa manager Dean Smith

Noel Whelan suggests that there will be a queue of sides lining up for Aston Villa striker Jonathan Kodjia as he fights for his future under Dean Smith.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Leeds forward says that the 29-year-old is a talented player that many clubs would want on their books and that the fact he will be a free agent at the end of the season makes him an attractive signing.

Football Insider revealed last month that Dean Smith had turned down an offer for the former Bristol City man from Qatari side Al-Gharafa, despite the fact he is into the final year of his contract.

Whelan says the striker’s experience and quality could demand a seven-figure price tag and that his contract status will see rivals lining up in a bid to snap up a bargain.

Whelan told Football Insider: “He’s a fantastic striker, I’ve always admired him when Aston Villa were in the Championship. He’s got skill, he’s got pace, he’s got strength – with him being out of contract he’s got to work hard now to prove to Dean Smith he’s worthy of a new contract.

“If nothing is signed, I can guarantee you there will be a lot of clubs queuing up for that signature. If anyone’s on a free transfer, it’s just about the wages. When you’re getting a player of that ability and you’re not forking out seven to eight million pounds, it’s a no brainer.”

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Kodjia has been missing for the majority of the 2019/10 campaign after picking up a cheekbone injury in a freak training ground accident, leaving him with just one appearance under his belt so far.

In total, he has 29 goals in 98 appearances for the Villans and will be back in contention after the international break.

In other Aston Villa news, Alan Hutton has told Football Insider the Villans could pay a “huge fee” for a prolific hitman in January.