Aston Villa are in pole position to sign Liverpool winger Ryan Kent after securing Premier League promotion, Football Insider understands.
The Midlands giants are among a host of clubs battling to land the 22-year-old permanently on the back of an impressive season on loan at Rangers.
A Villa source has told Football Insider the club had told Liverpool to expect a major bid for Kent if they were successful in overcoming Derby County in Monday’s Championship play-off final.
The Champions League finalists value Kent at around the £12million mark and are willing to offload him this summer after he failed to make the breakthrough into their senior side.
Villa have done some ground work on the deal and are confident they have the edge on the player’s other suitors, who include Huddersfield, Fulham and Rangers.
Steven Gerrard has made no attempt to hide his admiration for Kent or his eagerness to take him back to Ibrox next season, but Rangers cannot afford to pay a fee of around £10million or more.
It means Kent will likely return south of the border next season after the best campaign of his burgeoning career, scoring six goals and supplying nine assists from 42 matches in all competitions.
In other Aston Villa news, Southampton and Leicester City have tabled bids for wide flyer after HUGE Villa offer.