By Kevin Phillips

11th Jul, 2021 | 12:00pm

Phillips: Aston Villa will give everything to sign Smith-Rowe after McNeil update

Kevin Phillips claims the signing of Dwight McNeil would be another good move from Aston Villa.

However, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the Sunderland legend predicted the club will do everything to land Emile Smith-Rowe.

On 6th July, Football Insider revealed Villa will turn their attention to signing McNeil if they fail in their pursuit of Arsenal’s Smith Rowe.

A Villa source has told Football Insider the club have already had two bids turned down for the talented attacker with a third being readied.

On 9th July, The Sun reported the Gunners are confident of tying Smith-Rowe down on a new contract.

The signing of a new Arsenal deal could see Villa test the waters for McNeil and Phillips claims it would be a good move by the club.

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When asked if McNeil would be a good signing, Phillips told Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, “Yeah, I think so.

“He’s got talent but for me, Smith-Rowe is a better player. I think he’s a good young player. 

“McNeil has shown his qualities and Villa haven’t got it wrong with their signings in the last 18 months. 

“You have to back it. Smith-Rowe, I think they will persist with that one and take it to the death. It will be interesting to see how that one goes. 

“But McNeil is a real talent and he’s shown that. Smith-Rowe is the preferred choice but McNeil could fill that role.”

McNeil, 21, has been a first team regular since 2018 and has seven goals and 16 assists for Burnley to his name.

His current Turf Moor deal runs until the summer of 2024.

In other news, Aston Villa have been tipped to promote Europe-best teen as a 31-year-old is in exit talks.