Villa reject Celtic bid for Scott Sinclair

Aston Villa have issued a hands-off warning over Scott Sinclair after rejecting a £1million bid from Glasgow Celtic for the striker.

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New Hoops boss Brendan Rodgers is eager to make Sinclair his first signing, but has been told the 27-year-old is not for sale.

Villa understood to have turned down the Scottish club's offer out-of-hand.

Celtic are thought to be considering a second bid but it would require a serious increase for Villa to think about changing their position.

Sinclair is well known to Rodgers, having played a major role in helping Swansea to promotion from the Championship in 2011.

Since leaving the Swans for Manchester City a year later his career has stalled and he struggled to make an impact during his first full season at Villa Park.

Yet new Villa boss Roberto Di Matteo will wait until pre-season before making decisions on his existing playing squad.

The Italian is eager to take a good look at Sinclair, a player he believes could have a big role to play in getting Villa back into the Premier League at the first attempt.

Salary demands could meanwhile put Burnley off making a bid for midfielder Ashley Westwood. The newly-promoted Clarets are also thought to be keeping tabs on striker Rudy Gestede.

Spanish defender Jose Angel Crespo is one player who will be allowed to leav,e with Greek side PAOK the most likely destination.

Di Matteo is eager to add more signings during the course of pre-season, with particular focus being placed on the front-line.

Fulham's Ross McCormack, Chelsea's James Wilson and Crystal Palace's Dwight Gayle are all potential targets.

Di Matteo said: "I have already started doing some preliminary work, but we all know it is not going to happen overnight.

"It is a process, it takes time. I am not going to give you names but we have targets we are looking at and we will see where we get with that.

"I have a good idea on what I want my team to look like, I have a good idea. I know what we need, what I think we need and we will work to get that right."

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