Aston Villa have been hit by a major blow in their bid to win the race to sign Luton Town full-back James Justin, Football Insider can reveal.

Football Insider revealed a fortnight ago that the Midlands giants had tabled an offer of £7.5million for the defender after having a January bid rejected by the newly promoted club.

But Villa’s hopes of beating strong competition form Premier League clubs to land the versatile 21-year-old have been stung after Leicester City leapfrogged them in the battle to sign him this window.

A source with knowledge of Villa’s pursuit has told Football Insider that Leicester are in pole position, ahead of Villa, Southampton, Fulham and Crystal Palace, to land Justin.

The east Midlands side have matched the £7.5million offer and are eager to offer the in-demand flyer a central role in Brendan Rodgers’ young and vibrant team.

The 21-year-old, who can play at right-back or left-back, has emerged as one of the best young defenders in the Football League.

He was named in the League One Team of the Year for his exploits in the recently-completed campaign but is almost certain to leave Kenilworth Road this summer as he is out of contract in 12 months.

In the latest Aston Villa news, it can be REVEALED that the club have reached a verbal agreement to make loan star their first summer signing.