Aston Villa make it a three-way tussle for Man United defender

After yesterday’s deflating revelation that their club had two recently-relegated Premier League players in their sights for a summer spending spree, Aston Villa fans will be far happier to read of a considerable shift in the quality of their targets just 24 hours later.

The Midlands club have seemingly moved away from the idea of adding Hull pair Dame N’Doye and James Chester to their ranks, instead focussing their attention on winning what is now a three-way battle for Manchester United centre-back Jonny Evans.

Clearly, trying to pry players away from the Premier League’s elite clubs is an ambitious move for an outfit that has spent the past three seasons battling relegation, however it is a commendable display of ambition.

The Metro, among other sources, believe Tim Sherwood’s outfit are willing to meet a £10m valuation of the Northern Ireland international, but have both Everton and Tottenham for company in that regard.

With the future of Ron Vlaar forever uncertain as far as rumour mongers are concerned and a host of young players, bar Philippe Senderos, filling the central defensive spots, Evans’ experience would be a vital commodity for the claret and blue club.

Evans made just 12 Premier League starts this season, with a raft of injuries and a lengthy ban for the spitting incident with Newcastle’s Papiss Cisse helping both Paddy McNair and Tyler Blackett establish themselves among Louis van Gaal’s plans.

Ingeniously, the Metro believes a switch to Villa Park would re-invent the 27-year-old as a regular starter again, although the European-chasing aspirations of Everton and Tottenham may prove a bigger lure.

The ability to secure Evans’ services would be a considerable feather in Sherwood’s already plumed cap and could see his club’s 2015/16 relegation odds of 9/2 ease somewhat.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.