Express & Star

Aston Villa jump to the head of the queue for John Terry

Villa have emerged as the leading contenders to sign former England captain John Terry – as owner Tony Xia looks to push season ticket sales past 30,000.

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The 36-year-old central defender is weighing up offers from around the world after leaving Chelsea, but Villa have reportedly jumped to the front of the queue – ahead of Premier League clubs Bournemouth, Swansea and Albion, as well as teams from the United States and China.

Signing one of the Premier League’s most decorated players would be major statement of intent from Xia, who took to Twitter yesterday to reveal Villa were on course to top last year’s season ticket sales of around 20,000.

Responding to a supporter who enquired about this year’s sales, Xia wrote: “Total ST# is soon to exceed last year’s total#. I hope we can get 30K STs, so we can expect all time FULLHOUSE to welcome a special season.”

Boss Steve Bruce is meanwhile weighing up a move for Ahmed Elmohamady, who is widely expected to leave Hull this summer.

The 29-year-old, who can play at right-back or as a wing-back and was signed by Bruce for the Tigers back in 2012, is thought to be available for a fee of around £3million. Bruce, who is having to operate on a relatively tight budget at this stage of the summer, must decide whether to make a move or use those funds elsewhere.

Villa have already seen a £500,000 offer for Stoke City midfielder Glenn Whelan rejected and are facing competition from Derby County for the Republic of Ireland international.

Stoke are expected to hold out for a fee of at least £1million.

Wales international Joe Ledley, available on a free transfer after leaving Premier League Crystal Palace, is under consideration as an alternative.

The 30-year-old, who is also a target for the Rams, has received a number of offers from both home and abroad and – like Terry – is thought to be willing to consider a drop down into the Championship.