Steve Bruce wants Peter Crouch to be his next big-name signing for ambitious Aston Villa this summer.
Bruce is hoping to lure Crouch back to Villa Park by promising him regular first-team football in the Championship.
The 36-year-old spent just over two years at Villa between 2002 and 2004, scoring six goals in 37 Premier League appearances before moving to Southampton for £2.5million.
The 6ft 7in former England striker is currently earning more than £4million-a-year at Stoke and would have to take a pay cut if he stepped down a level, but Bruce is hoping that Villa will not have to pay too much in terms of a transfer fee for the forward, according to the report in the Sun on Sunday.
Crouch could fellow veteran John Terry in making the switch to Villa Park, with the club’s owner Doctor Tony Xia looking to give Bruce as much support as possible as Villa look to challenge for a return to England’s top flight this season.
Meanwhile, Villa have agreed to sell left-back Jordan Amavi to Sevilla for an undisclosed fee.
However, they hope to sign goalkeeper Sam Johnstone in another loan deal from Manchester United and have also been linked with Stoke central midfielder Glenn Whelan.