By Michael Brown

15th Oct, 2020 | 5:50pm

Pundit Exclusive: Villa board tipped to back Smith to the hilt in last-gasp raid

Michael Brown has tipped the Aston Villa board to give Dean Smith the backing to sign Josh King from Bournemouth.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Premier League midfielder believes the Villans would love to add the Norway international to their squad before Friday’s domestic transfer deadline.

As revealed by Football Insider, Villa are preparing a last-minute bid to prise the 28-year-old from Bournemouth, although Premier League rivals Everton are also in the hunt for the £15million-rated hitman.

It is understood the Cherries have dropped their £20million asking price by £5million to get a deal done, while they turned down a £13million offer from West Ham.

Brown believes that Smith has built up the trust of the board for the business done this summer and that they will look to beat their rivals to King if the manager says he is a top target.

Brown told Football Insider: “I think that’s a signing they would probably like to do, wouldn’t they, to reinforce that sort of area.

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“He’s proven, you know what you’re going to get, you’d see them really wanting him. With the good start they’ve had and the recruitment that has gone in this year, it looks a bit healthier than last year, that’s for sure.

“I think the trust will be there if the manager decides he wants to do it.” 

King has scored 48 goals in 161 Premier League appearances to date.

Villa currently have summer signing Ollie Watkins, young prospect Keinan Davis and long-term absentee Wesley Moraes as their centre-forward options.

In other Aston Villa news, newly-available players have been tipped to snub moves ahead of Friday.