Aston Villa prepared to offer £4.5m for Ipswich Town defender

Aaron Cresswell

Aaron Cresswell - Credit: Archant

Aaron Creswell is being lined up to become the next high-profile youngster to join Paul Lambert’s Aston Villa revolution.

The 23-year-old has been a revelation at Portman Road since being signed by former boss Paul Jewell in the summer of 2011 and was the subject of an enquiry from the Premier League club last July.

Then, Villa failed to take their interest any further after being quoted £6m for the highly-rated youngster but we understand they are now willing to offer in the region of £4.5m for the ex-Tranmere man.

Cresswell fits into the Villa Park philosphy, with Lambert having already signed a raft of young talent, including Sheffield United defender Matt Lowton, Genk and Belgium hotshot Christian Benteke, Chesterfield forward Jordan Bowery and Middlesbrough full-back Joe Bennett.

A source in the Midlands said: “Aaron Cresswell was on Paul Lambert’s radar last pre-season and is once again.

“Cresswell was watched regularly by Villa scouts towards the end of this season, and is very much top of the wanted list.”

Town would see 20% of any profit made on Cresswell given to League One club Tranmere Rovers, who received £240,000 – possibly rising to £520,000 based on added clauses – at a tribunal two years ago

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McCarthy would be reluctant to let the defender, who played every minute of every game this season, go, but a sizeable fee for Cresswell would undoubtedly strengthen his hand in the transfer market.

He also hinted recently that he would be willing to sell his star players, should he receive suitable offers, and described Cresswell as a ‘Premier League player in the making’.

“I’m not trying to sell my players but I’d be surprised if there isn’t interest in him (Cresswell) this year,” said McCarthy last month.

“He’s a Premier League footballer in the making. He’s got good pace, he’s got a good left foot. He can defend, he can head it. He’s not the biggest but he’s a good competitor.”

Asked about the prospect of his players being in demand, McCarthy said: “If they are then great because it means they’ve played well.

“We all want to do well and be as good as we possibly can. Whether that’s players who want to move up to the Premier League, or whether that’s me.

“We’re all ambitious. If somebody comes in and buys one for big dough, then we’ll go and get another one and start again.”

Meanwhile, McCarthy has again been linked with Cambridge-born striker Sylvan Ebanks-Blake who has been released by Wolves.

The striker wants to stay in the Championship and is keen on a move closer to his home city.

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