By Graham Hill
VILLA have set their sights on a loan move for rising Chelsea star Ethan Ampadu.
Boss Dean Smith has been exploring a move for free agent Gary Cahill who was released by Chelsea and would command big wages.
Now, say the Guardian, Villa are also looking at the other end of the spectrum at Wales defender Ampadu, 18.
The Welshman can play in central defence and in a holding midfielder role – and it is another example of Villa coach John Terry using his influence at Stanford Bridge.
After coming through the ranks at Exeter City, Ampadu has forced his way into Chelsea’s first team squad as well as winning eight caps for Wales.
Next season, Ampadu will have David Luiz, Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen ahead of him in the pecking order at Stamford Bridge.
But he would get more game time at Chelsea and Smith is keen to bring him to the Midlands.
Tammy Abraham is likely to give Villa a glowing report after his loan spell at the club – while the lure of Terry would be another plus.
The Guardian report says Terry has recommended Ampadu to the Villa board, after training alongside the Welshman during a brief stint back with the Blues last summer.
And it has been claimed Villa tried to sign him last summer but boss Maurizio Sarri ruled that out.
But with Sarri on his way out, Chelsea are likely to appoint a successor before sending Ampadu to another club.