By Phil Jennings
VILLA are believed to be lining up a £10million move for Nottingham Forest forward Joe Lolley.
Boss Dean Smith is a confirmed admirer of the player who is was a boyhood Villa fan.
Lolley had a hand in all five goals when Forest drew 5-5 in a memorable game at Villa Park earlier in the season – his feat being overshadowed in a dramatic game which saw Tammy Abraham net four times.
The club’s player of the year signed a new deal at the City Ground when Martin O’Neill arrived as manager in January and he scored who has scored 12 goals and provided 11 assists this season,
And ex-Villa boss O’Neill will not want to lose Lolley, 26. But if Villa come calling, the Forest star will not want to say no despite admitting he see his immediate future with Forest.
Villa have spending power again and will conduct a summer rebuild to make sure they are ready for the Premier League campaign which starts in just 10 weeks’ time.
Mail Online and Birmingham Live both report Villa’s interest in Lolley, 24 hours after Villa confirmed their place back in the top flight.
Lolley told the Nottingham Post that he is not looking to leave Forest, but an approach from Villa could change that.
The player said: “I signed a deal in February. I signed that because I want to stay here, because I want to be here. I do not see that changing, to be honest.
“I know football is a crazy game in that respect. But yes, I see my future here and I don’t really see that changing.
“I have brought a house around Nottingham and I enjoy the area. I like it here and I love the club.
“I enjoy playing my football here. I am not looking to change or anything like that. I am happy here.”