Villa plan for Kiyotake bid

Aston Villa are looking to make a bid for Nuremberg’s Japanese attacking midfielder Hiroshi Kiyotake – but will only step up their interest after ensuring the departures of outcasts such as Darren Bent and Stephen Ireland, according to the Daily Mirror.

Kiyotake scored four goals in 32 appearances for Nuremberg last season, and has earned 18 international caps. He was part of Japan’s Confederations Cup squad this summer, and it was his performances during the 2012 Olympics which reportedly impressed Villa boss Paul Lambert.

Villa have already made six summer signings, all relatively soon after the end of last season. Goalkeeper Jed Steer, defenders Antonio Luna and Jores Okore, wingers Leandro Bacuna and Aleksandar Tonev, and striker Nicklas Helenius have all arrived in the close-season.

However, they appear unwilling to bid for Kiyotake, who is valued at around £10m, until they manage to get several players who are surplus to requirements at Villa Park, off the wage bill.

Darren Bent is among the highest earners at the club, and despite interest from Fulham, a deal is yet to be agreed. Other senior players who have fallen out of favour include Ireland, Shay Given and Alan Hutton, all of whom are free to leave.

And some younger players such as Barry Bannan, linked with a move to Blackburn Rovers, Nathan Delfouneso, and Enda Stevens look set to move elsewhere in the near future.

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