Villa to drive for Saint Austin?

By Phil Jennings

VILLA are reportedly eyeing up a move for Southampton striker Charlie Austin.

That is on top of their interest in Saints left-back Matt Targett.

The Football Insider site claims Villa want both players for next season’s Premier League return.

A move for Austin does not quite fit in with the transfer policy outlined by chief executive Christian Purslow last month after Villa sealed promotion to the Premier League.

And with the arrival this week of Brazilian striker Wesley for a club record £22million and an eye on Neal Maupay at Brentford, Austin, at 29, is not a name that sits alongside that category of player.

But Southampton are thought to be ready to sell and Villa boss Dean Smith may be looking to add to little experience to his rebuilt squad if the price is right.

Football Insider says that Austin struggled for regular first-team football at Southampton following the arrival of Ralf Hasenhuttl as manager last December and they are willing to sell the former Queens Park Rangers man.

Smith will want more firepower now that Tammy Abraham has returned to parent club Chelsea and shows no signs of coming back to Villa Park.

More realistic is the interest in Targett with Smith keen to boost his full-back options this summer,

Targett, 23, is currently behind Ryan Bertrand in the pecking order at Southampton and could be allowed to move on if an offer of around £10million comes in.

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