Aston Villa are going toe-to-toe with Newcastle for the signature of £12m Fulham forward Ross McCormack as competition for the in-demand goalscorer heats up.
New owner Tony Xia has outlined a 'strong striker' as the club's main priority ahead of next season and promised to give boss Roberto Di Matteo enough money to get the right man. McCormack is a proven Championship marksman who scored 21 goals in the second tier last season for a struggling Cottagers side. Both Villa and Newcastle lacked goals up front last season and both clubs have picked the Scottish international as the perfect man to fire them straight back into the Premier League. McCormack, who joined Fulham in 2014 for a Championship record fee of £11m, has a £12m release clause in his contract.
Villa are also believed to be one of five clubs eyeing up a loan deal for Manchester United forward James Wilson, who spent last season on loan at Brighton.