Aston Villa are set to indulge in a battle over the transfer of Joe Ledley. The Midlands club has been evaluating their options after Ledley was released by Crystal Palace.
After having a more than average season, Aston Villa will be seeking promotion desperately and manager Steve Bruce has been looking for leadership material for the Villans. Ledley has vast experience in English football and Bruce is preparing to use that as Villa are set to undergo a very rigorous season.
Villa have also been linked with Stoke City midfield destroyer Glenn Whelan and had a bid of £500,000 rejected by the Potters as they are demanding close to £1m for the 33-year-old. Villa are reluctant to match the fee and have now turned their attention to Ledley who has been the in-demand player.
The Wales stalwart will be a more viable option for the Championship outfit. Whelan is renowned for his defensive attributes and has very limited capability as his duty is mostly to break up the opponent’s play. But Ledley can act as a deep-lying playmaker dictating the pace of the game.
Also, Villa only have to meet his wage demands as the player is currently a free agent having been released by the Eagles. Ledley has also attracted interests from China, Germany and Turkey.
The Chinese government has recently changed their policy in terms of football transfer as whoever now brings a new player will have to pay 100 percent tax. But still, Ledley remains a very attractive prospect for the Chinese clubs as the player is only 30 and will not need any transfer fee.
Tony Pulis is also eyeing the player as a potential replacement for Darren Fletcher who joined Stoke City a few days ago. Pulis would love to have him at the Hawthorns as he could prove to be a better option than departing Fletcher.
Villa have very limited transfer resources but their Chinese owner is ready to fund the move. Ledley would demand a similar wage scale to the Premier League and the Villa owners are ready to meet his demands.
Ledley has 70 caps for Wales and is an old warhorse having played for Celtic and Cardiff City in his earlier stage of the career. He did have the experience of playing in the Championship and even was awarded a place in the 2008/09 Championship team of the year. Villa have to make a move as soon as possible as a number of clubs are trying to hijack a deal for the player.