While Aston Villa remain hopeful of landing Manchester City misfit Scott Sinclair in cut-price deal this month, the West Midlands outfit reportedly face competition for his signature.
Manager Paul Lambert has targeted Sinclair after seeing his side net just 11 goals in 20 Premier League games this season, with the winger thought to be available for less than £3 million.
Villa are understood to be the favourites to secure his services at this point, but latest reports have suggested that both Crystal Palace and Roberto Mancini’s Inter Milan are also in the running.
Sinclair, 25, has made just three starts in two-and-a-half seasons with City following his £6.2 million move from Swansea in August 2012, with his first campaign at the club under Mancini cut short after he required surgery due to a blood clot discovered in his shoulder.
The former England Under-21 international also struggled to make his mark during a season-long loan at West Bromwich Albion last season, and has made just four substitutes appearances for a total of 29 minutes for Manuel Pellegrini’s team this term.
With competition for a starting place fierce, Sinclair admitted before the transfer window that a move this winter was likely given his lack of first-team opportunities, telling Sky Sports News HQ: “It's been very frustrating, for the last couple of years I have kept my head and tried to do as well as I can in training.
"Hopefully I will get the chance I am looking for. At this moment in time, it is hard for me to get a game, but all I can do is maybe re-evaluate in January and go from there.”
Given his recent struggles, it remains to be seen what Sinclair could offer a club like Villa but, considering he was touted for a senior England call-up during his time at Swansea, there remains reason to believe that he could prove a bargain purchase.
Lambert’s side no doubt need an attacking spark, capable of both scoring and creating chances for the likes of Christian Benteke, but the Claret and Blues will need to be cautious of the likes of Palace and Inter swooping in to ruin their plans.