Aston Villa have been hailed for their “best business of the year” after agreeing a new deal with Dean Smith.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, ex-Leeds United and Coventry City striker Noel Whelan claims Villa have been shrewd to tie down the 48-year-old.

Villa announced on their official website at the end of last week that Smith had agreed a new four-year contract running until 2023.

Whelan is a huge admirer of the man lured from Brentford in October 2018 following an impressive 14 months at the helm of the Midlands giants.

“It’s the best business of the year for Villa,” Whelan told Football Insider. “I’m a big fan of Dean Smith and this is absolutely well deserved.

“I like him as a manager, he knows how to build a team, develop players and man-manage the modern player.

“He has bought well in the transfer market, knows what he wants and the club’s total faith in him has paid dividends.

“Villa are starting to look the real deal in the Premier League and I think they are capable of breaking into the top ten. Securing Dean Smith is huge for them.”

The Villa job is Smith’s third as a manager after he had lengthy spells in charge of Brentford and Walsall, where he spent three and four years respectively.

He took over Villa with them struggling in mid-table and an outstanding finish to the Championship campaign secured a spot in the play-offs, which they won by defeating Derby County in the final.

In other Aston Villa news, it can be REVEALED that multiple clubs want to sign player in January who Smith is willing to now sell.