Villa steam ahead of West Ham for £25m-plus star who won club’s POTY prize

Chris Wood, Alphonse Areola Fulham v Burnley May 2021

Aston Villa are showing the strongest interest as West Ham also fight for the transfer of Burnley striker Chris Wood, a report claims.

Both Premier League clubs are looking to address their attacking options in this summer’s window. Villa have Ollie Watkins up top and he enjoyed a fine season, but there is a desire for more. In fact, Emiliano Buendia will move to the West Midlands from Norwich for a club-record deal.

West Ham, meanwhile, have sought a new striker for some time. Their club-record signing Sebastian Haller struggled to make an impact and left for Ajax in January.

In response, they tried to sign Sevilla’s Youssef En-Nesyri but reportedly failed with a bid.

According to the Daily Mirror, though, both clubs have identified Wood as a new transfer target.

The New Zealand international has hit double figures for goals in each of his four seasons since joining from Leeds United in the summer of 2017.

In his latest campaign, he hit 12 Premier League goals, with the Clarets only hitting 33 strikes overall.

Villa boss Dean Smith reportedly feels that Wood would be good back-up for England international Watkins.

Everton could join the hunt for the 29-year-old but are waiting to see if their new manager – whoever that may be – also wants the striker.

June 7 Transfer Chatter - Laporte to Barcelona, Wijnaldum deal cools and Aston Villa keen on Ward-Prowse

June 7 Transfer Chatter - Laporte to Barcelona, Wijnaldum deal cools and Aston Villa keen on Ward-Prowse

Barcelona want Aymeric Laporte but are refusing to offer Gini Wijnaldum an improved offer, while Aston Villa are set to make a move for James Ward-Prowse.

Overall, though, Villa are showing the ‘strongest interest’ as Smith’s club become arguably the team to watch early on in the summer transfer window.

Wood rounded off a solid campaign for Burnley by scooping three prizes at the club’s end-of-season awards.

He won the Player of the Year, the Players’ Player of the Year and and the Top Scorer prize. As a result, Burnley reportedly want more for him than the £25million which Everton paid to sign Michael Keane.

Villa hit Ward-Prowse transfer setback

James Ward-Prowse England TEAMtalk

Meanwhile, Southampton have reportedly told Villa that midfielder and captain James Ward-Prowse is not for sale.

Villa are supposedly moving ahead with their business by preparing a bid for the England international.

According to the latest report, though, the Saints are standing firm over their star man.

READ MORE: Aston Villa told unlucky England man is ‘not for sale’