EXCLUSIVE By Pete O’Rourke

Aston Villa and Cardiff City are plotting moves for £5million-rated Queens Park Rangers defender Toni Leistner this summer, Football Insider sources understands.

The German’s impressive performances have brought him to the attention of a number of clubs who are looking to bolster their central defensive options this summer ahead of next season.

A club source has told Football Insider that Aston Villa have made defensive reinforcements one of their top priorities for the summer with Dean Smith’s side having the worst defensive record of any side in the top half of the Championship table after conceding 53 goals in 35 games.

Cardiff also plan to strengthen their defensive options whatever league they are in next season after conceding 57 goals in the Premier League so far this season.

QPR would be reluctant to lose Leistner this summer as they look to keep hold of their best players, but an offer in the region of £5million could be tempting as it would represent a huge profit having signed the centre-half on a free transfer.

Subscribe to Football Insider TV now

Leistner has been a revelation for QPR since joining the club on a free transfer from German second-tier club FC Union Berlin last summer.

The 28-year-old, who was Steve McClaren’s first signing last summer, has been made club captain at Loftus Road and has become a big fans’ favourite with the Rangers supporters.

Leistner has made 37 appearances in all competitions for QPR in his first season in English football and he has been a standout performer for McClaren’s side.

In other Aston Villa transfer news, the club have been hit by a major blow as player rejects last-gasp transfer following talks