Aston Villa ready to fight for Peterborough striker Dwight Gayle

Aston Villa were today reportedly ready to fight QPR for Peterborough’s £4m rated hot-shot Dwight Gayle.

Dwight Gayle, right, in action for Peterborough United
Dwight Gayle, right, in action for Peterborough United

The striker is thought to be on Paul Lambert’s radar after scoring 13 goals despite Posh’s relegation from the Championship.

The 22-year-old only joined Posh for £500,000 from Dagenham in January but has impressed at London Road.

QPR boss Harry Redknapp watched him in Peterborough’s 3-2 final-day defeat at Crystal Palace, which sent them down to League One this month.

“I was at Palace because there were a few players in that game that have been flagged up to me,” said Redknapp.

Gayle started his career at non-league Stansted and was on loan at Bishop’s Stortford in 2011-12 from Dagenham.

He scored seven goals in 18 games for the Daggers this season before making a permanent switch to Peterborough after an initial loan spell.

He hit 13 in 29 games for Darren Ferguson’s side, including a hat-trick against Blackburn in March.

Cardiff are also monitoring his situation and while Gayle is thought to be interested in a switch to London, Villa can offer him Premier League football after QPR were relegated.

He fits the profile of player Villa are looking to attract after securing Premier League safety thanks to Wigan’s 4-1 defeat to Arsenal last night.

The Latics were relegated and Stan Collymore has now backed Villa to improve and avoid another season of struggle next year.

The former striker, who joined Villa for £7m from Liverpool in 1997, reckons they can only get better.

He said: “Now we’re safe, I think most of us are confident the lads can really kick on next season,” he said.

“They have got better and better as the campaign has progressed and they can use the past few weeks as a platform to greater achievements.

“Five wins in the last eight games is an impressive record and is testament to the character of the players.

“We have talked all season about the youthful nature of Paul Lambert’s team but when you get to this stage of the season it doesn’t matter whether you are 35 or 17.

“If you can win pressure games against teams like Stoke City, Sunderland and Norwich City, it shows you believe in each other.”

Meanwhile, the club are holding talks with Wigan about being allocated more tickets now the relegation issues are settled.

The third bottom Latics were keen to restrict Villa’s away following if the match turned into a winner takes all clash.

Villa, five points above Wigan in 16th, sold out of their initial 3,000 allocation but are hoping to secure more.

The game is still all ticket and fans are reminded not to travel to the DW Stadium without a ticket.