By Graham Hill
VILLA will have to pay in excess of £10million to sign Cardiff keeper Neil Etheridge.
Boss Dean Smith is keen to link up with the 29-year-old who he knows from his days at Walsall with keeper coach Neil Cutler – now at Villa.
But, according to Wales Online, Villa are facing conception from European Champions Liverpool who have also made an enquiry about the Philippines international.
Villa are likely to make Etheridge their No1 keeper whereas he would be behind Alisson in the pecking order at Liverpool and likely to replace Simon Mignolet or Loris Karius who are set to leave Anfield.
But Smith will hope his and Cutler’s connection with the keeper will seal the deal.
Villa’s initial £8million bid has already been rejected with Cardiff looking for more than £10million to consider selling despite their relegation from the Premier League.
Cardiff boss Neil Warnock wants to hang on to Etheridge but says the club will sell if the right offer comes in.
Even though Cardiff were relegated, Etheridge was one of the stand-out players with nine clean sheets.
Villa are said to be looking for players in several positions including goalkeeper – even though Jed Steer played a key role in their Play-off charge after being recalled from Charlton.