Aston Villa are reportedly preparing to make moves ahead of this summer’s transfer window and have already set their sights on Burnley’s Dwight McNeil as a possible replacement for star man Jack Grealish.
McNeil, 21, joined Burnley’s under-18s in 2014 after being released from Manchester United’s youth academy.
Since arriving at the Clarets, the young Englishman has gone on to play a crucial role in Sean Dyche’s first-team plans.
Having already made over 100 senior appearances, in all competitions, McNeil has directly contributed to 24 goals.
Largely seen as one of the side’s most creative players, McNeil is often regarded as one of the club’s biggest prospects.
However, despite being on the verge of securing yet another season in England’s top-flight, there are mounting concerns that Burnley’s McNeil could be being eyed by domestic rivals.
According to a recent report from Football Insider, in an attempt to sign McNeil this summer, Dean Smith’s Aston Villa are preparing an opening bid believed to be within the region of just £15m.
It has been speculated that given the strong possibility that a top club snaps up star man Grealish, Smith is already considering possible replacements.
Both Manchester United and Manchester City have been continually linked with a move for Grealish, however, it is accepted that, so far, any attempts to secure the England international have not been backed up with an official offer – that could all be set to change though.
When asked about the Villans’ impending attempt to sign McNeil, former player Noel Whelan believes the offer would be ‘very cheeky’ and may need to be revised if they’re to be successful in their pursuit.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, Whelen said: “It’s a very cheeky bid.
“You’re not testing the water there, it’s very cold. I’m sure that’s what Burnley will be thinking as well, it’s got ice in it.
“You’re going to be looking £20million. The early £20millions, at least, to seal the deal. With his age, his talent and the fact that he’s wanted. I know how important he is to Burnley and Sean Dyche.
“He’s one of these players that can do something out of nothing, a great left foot.
“Maybe, just maybe, they’re looking at him as a replacement for Jack Grealish, who knows.”