Aston Villa will be front runners in the hunt to sign Southampton’s Charlie Austin with little competition from other Premier League sides, according to Danny Mills.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Leeds and England defender deemed the Saints striker to be a short term fix rather than a long term option up front, highlighting his injury record and lack of playing time.

As revealed exclusively by Football Insider, Southampton are willing to cash in on the 29-year-old and Aston Villa have made initial contact over a deal for his capture.

Insisting that Austin would put the ball in the back of the net if provided with the opportunities, Mills admitted he would not offer much in terms of a future transfer fee and that Aston Villa could have a clear run for his signing with little to no rival interest.

Asked about the Villains’ pursuit of the English hitman, Mills said: “He’s an out-and-out goalscorer if you get the ball into the box and get him into the right positions. Would he be a backup striker? I don’t see him playing week in, week out.

“They might need somebody to hold the ball up, with a little bit of nous and that could well be the likes of Charlie Austin – been there, seen it, done it. I don’t think there would be too many Premier League sides knocking down Southampton’s door. There’s no real sell on value, he has had injury problems so longevity is a problem for anyone looking at him.

“He’s a short term fix player, he’s very, very good, a good goalscorer, but if you’re bringing in Charlie Austin it’s for the short term, not the long term.”

Austin managed to play 27 times for the Saints during the 2018/19 campaign, 12 of those outings coming in the starting XI, with three goals and three assists to his name.

The former QPR and Burnley man has a total of 106 Premier League appearances and 34 goals under his belt.

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