Belfast Telegraph

Aston Villa step up Scott Parker chase

By Ian Herbert

Alex McLeish hopes to persuade Scott Parker to join Aston Villa this week, when the new boss looks to begin spending the proceeds of Stewart Downing's £20m sale on Charles N'Zogbia, Shay Given and the West Ham captain.

The deal with Wigan Athletic for N'Zogbia has already been agreed and the player, who will cost around £10m, should sign this week.

Manchester City want £5m for Given and have already rejected a bid of £2m from Villa but should settle for between £3m and £4m.

Parker (30) has been looked at by Arsenal and Tottenham as a possible acquisition this summer. Spurs have been slow off the mark in this transfer window with chairman Daniel Levy focusing his efforts on selling around six squad players - they have taken 28 on tour to South Africa - including David Bentley, Jermaine Jenas and Wilson Palacios, before he starts sanctioning new signings.

Parker is valued at around £9m and has been the subject of interest from his former club Chelsea, who would like him on loan.

For Villa, a return of three players with the revenue from Downing shows why they were prepared to sell the England winger. Villa are also on the look-out for a left-back, with Stephen Warnock keen to move back to the north-west.

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