Former Arsenal man Nicklas Bendtner has emerged as the latest free agent target for Aston Villa, according to Danish paper BT.
With funds at a premium, as want-away owner Randy Lerner continues to search for potential buyers of the club, Paul Lambert has favoured bringing in low-cost, veteran options so far this summer, signing both Philippe Senderos and Joe Cole on a pair of free transfers.
His contract with Arsenal expiring at the end of last season, Bendtner’s agent Tom Brookes is in the final stages of negotiations with Villa and a deal could be struck sometime this week.
Attempting to fight off interest from German side Eintracht Frankfurt for the striker’s services, the club are in desperate need for reinforcements upfront, with main options Christian Benteke and Libor Kozak still recovering from major injuries suffered last season.
Fellow Dane Nicklas Helenius is also set to return to old team Aalborg BK on a season-long loan, after growing disillusioned with his lack of opportunities during his lone season at Villa Park, while former Chesterfield ace Jordan Bowery has already been shipped out to Rotherham for an undisclosed fee.
With Darren Bent’s future at the club still unclear, that leaves Gabby Agbonlahor, Andreas Weimann and 19-year-old Callum Robinson as the only other options in a thin and inexperienced squad which was fortunate to avoid relegation last season.
A polarising figure amongst football fans, Bendtner scored just two goals in 12 appearances for Arsenal last season, spending the prior two campaigns on loan at Sunderland and Juventus after falling out of favour with Arsene Wenger during 2010-11.
Once hailed as the club's brightest prospect, he had been a regular fixture in the first-team from 2007 to 2010 but ultimately failed to live up to the lofty expectations put on him at the Emirates, with his career increasingly overshadowed by off-pitch antics.
Still just 26, Villa will be hoping that a return to the city where he first made his breakthrough during a loan spell at Birmingham City can help reinvigorate the Denmark international, who has scored 24 goals in 56 games for his national side since his 2006 debut, aged 18.
Bendtner may well have his critics, and deservedly so, but, taking into account their current financial situation, he represents a low risk, potentially high reward investment for the rebuilding outfit.