Villa put relegated Hull pair on summer shopping list

After Aston Villa were walloped 4-0 by Arsenal in the FA Cup final, Tim Sherwood suggested that the Midlands club were willing to spend to improve the quality of the squad, providing he could convince the owner the outlay was worthwhile.

On that basis, it may take a while for Randy Lerner to sign off on a pursuit of Hull’s recently relegated pair James Chester and Dame N’Doye.

According to the Metro, Sherwood is among a gaggle of top-flight managers to have the Tigers duo on his shopping list, although neither are likely to come cheap enough for Lerner’s taste.

After arriving at the KC Stadium from Russia in January, N’Doye made a fast start to his Hull career.

The Senegalese striker scored three times in his first five appearances for the joint 8/1 Championship favourites, but only managed two in his final 10 as Steve Bruce’s side battled in vain against the drop.

26-year-old Welsh centre-back Chester can claim to have had a better season for the former Wigan tactician, but with the ex-Manchester United youth under contract until next summer, Sherwood would need to get his chequebook out to land him.

The former Tottenham boss insists he will only bring in players that will move the club away from being “relegation fodder” and while Chester may prove a useful addition, the gilet-sporter may want to look harder through the market for a new striker.

Should Christian Benteke depart the scene at Villa Park, where relegation is a 9/2 possibility next term, then Sherwood would need someone far more prolific than Hull’s former Lokomotiv Moscow goal getter, who cost Bruce £3m six months ago.

Rumours around Benteke’s future continue to swirl, with Liverpool thought to be the most likely destination for the Belgian this summer.

Sherwood, though, is willing to smash Villa’s wage budget in order to keep the player, with a contract offer of around £75,000 per week.

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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.