Aston Villa have refused to confirm or deny whether Manchester United striker Alan Smith is manager David O'Leary's top summer transfer target.
Villa chairman Doug Ellis has promised O'Leary £20m to sign new players.
And O'Leary is reportedly ready to spend £7m on 24-year-old Smith, whom he had under his charge whilst Leeds boss.
Smith has struggled since joining United from Leeds, scoring just nine goals and finding it hard to command a regular first-team place.
Currently behind Wayne Rooney and Ruud van Nistelrooy in the pecking order at United, Smith has started only 19 Premiership matches.
Meanwhile, United striker Louis Saha made his comeback from a knee injury in a reserve match at Blackpool.
And the Frenchman's return to fitness could further reduce Smith's chances of pushing his way in to the team.