Aston Villa have sights on Watford goal ace Troy Deeney

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Villa were today among several clubs interested in signing Watford hot-shot Troy Deeney when the striker's contract expires in the summer.

It is believed Villa boss Paul Lambert has targeted the 24-year-old to increase his striking options with a degree of uncertainty over the long-term futures of Darren Bent and Christian Benteke.

Deeney had been locked in negotiations with promotion-chasing Watford over a new contract but has yet to agree terms at Vicarage Road.

Brummie Deeney has already indicated to friends in the West Midlands that he would be open to a move back to the club that released him as a 15-year-old trainee.

Deeney, who was with Walsall between 2006 and 2010 and also had a spell on loan at non-league Halesowen Town, has netted 12 times in 24 matches for Watford in the Championship.

Meanwhile, Lambert has refused to rule out a new contract for crocked defender Richard Dunne, who has yet to feature under Lambert after three groin operations.

Lambert said: "I think first and foremost we need to get the guy back fit as quickly as we can.

"Richard Dunne will not need to prove himself. I know what he can do."

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