Danny Mills has warned Dwight McNeil not to leave Burnley too early into his career as Aston Villa eye up a move.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-Leeds United and England defender insisted the 21-year-old was a top player but needed regular time at his tender age.
Football Insider revealed Villa have made McNeil one of their top targets ahead of the summer window and are lining up a huge bid.
The Midlands giants are in the market for two top-quality wide forwards as they plan another window of big spending.
McNeil has played 91 Premier League games for Burnley and recently earned the praise of BBC Sport pundit Alan Shearer, as relayed by Lancs Live, for his display in their 2-1 win over Everton.
Asked whether McNeil could make the step up to Villa, Mills told Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley: “Yes, definitely.
“I think he’s a good player. Burnley is not in a state of flux just yet but nobody’s quite sure what’s going to happen with Burnley at the moment and what direction they’re going to push in and what that means for the players.
“If Villa are interested you have to be careful not to go too soon and just be part of the squad and you have to force your way onto the bench week in, week out.
“He needs to go somewhere where he plays regularly and if there’s nowhere where you can do that just stay where you are for another season. Just get as many games as you can under his belt.
“You don’t want to go from being a regular starter, one of the first names on the teamsheet, to playing eight, nine games a season. It’s demoralising and it doesn’t help your development.”