In Focus: Aston Villa should consider other targets as Whelan attracts Burnley

Aston Villa face a battle to sign Glenn Whelan from Stoke City after Burnley entered the race for his signature, according to The Sun.

What’s the word?

Villa manager Steve Bruce has been eyeing the midfielder ahead of the new Championship season.

However, The Sun claims that Burnley have a big advantage because the player wants to remain in the Premier League.

It is believed that Clarets boss Sean Dyche sees Whelan as a decent replacement for Joey Barton, who was released by the club in May after being hit with an 18-month ban for breaching betting offences.

The report claims that Villa do not want to pay a fee for Whelan, while Burnley are willing to pay around £2.5m for his services.

What should Villa do?

The Championship club need to gauge what Whelan is thinking, but if the rumours are correct that he wants to remain in the top flight, then Villa could be fighting a losing battle.

Last season, the Republic of Ireland international started 26 Premier League games and came off the bench in a further four.

Despite being defensive-minded, the 33-year-old provided one assist in the top flight as the Potters finished 13th in the table.

The arrival of John Terry at Villa Park indicates that the club are looking for experience to help boost their promotion bid, and they are right to do so.

In this case, though, it may be worth Bruce looking at other targets.