Aston Villa have stepped up their interest in Wigan winger Charles N'Zogbia by submitting a ?10million bid.
Villa manager Alex McLeish considers France international N'Zogbia his No 1 target to replace Liverpool-bound Stewart Downing.
The midlands club have ample funds available with the sale of Ashley Young to Manchester United and Downing - if his move to Anfield goes through - raising ?36m this summer.
McLeish is a long-term admirer of N'Zogbia who has one year remaining on his current deal with the Latics. But he will take nothing for granted after the events of last year.
McLeish came close to signing the former Newcastle man at Birmingham 12 months ago only for the move to break down over personal terms at the 11th hour.
On the Mersey: Downing is set to join Liverpool
Manchester City's Shaun Wright-Phillips and Spartak Moscow's Aiden McGeady are also on McLeish's radar should he fail to land N'Zogbia.
McLeish is keen to start rebuilding his squad for the new campaign.
I'm gloving it: City reject Given (right) will join Aston Villa for ?3.5m
Manchester City keeper Shay Given is expected to sign in a ?3.5 million deal, once he has negotiated a settlement on the remainder of his contract, as a replacement for Brad Friedel.
In the midfield department, McLeish is interested in West Ham's Scott Parker although suggestions a formal bid has already been made are wide of the mark.
?Villa set to make double swoop as McLeish eyes City winger Wright-PhillipsSunderland boss Bruce wants winger N'Zogbia to complete the perfect 10Liverpool land ?20m Downing as Villa line up ?9m N'Zogbia to replace England wingerWigan chairman Whelan says club 'have to sell' N'Zogbia
Source: Daily Mail