Heat is on in Villa’s keeper hunt

By Graham Hill

VILLA’S keeper chase could now be a straight fight between Cardff’s Neil Etheridge and Burnley’s Tom Heaton.

With the transfer deadline looming – and Dean Smith desperate for a new No1 – Villa will have to move quickly to get their man.

The Sun reports that Burnley have slapped a £10millon price tag on Heaton’s head – while a £9million bid for Etheridge was rejected by Cardiff in June.

But Etheridge has strong links to Smith and keeper coach Neil Cutler from his says with Walsall.

Stoke City now appear to be more confident in keeping hold of England international Jack Butland with neither Villa nor Bournemouth apparently ready to meet an asking price of more than £20million.

Juventus goalkeeper Mattia Perin is also believed to have been assessed by Villa but he has a poor record with injuries and may not be keen to come to Villa.

Bournemouth are also said to be interested in Heaton along with Watford – with Villa offering £7million so far.

But it seems to be a problem area for Villa – some moves have gone through with few delays but their search for a goalkeeper appears to be becoming increasingly frustrating.

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