Aston Villa defender Nathan Baker eyed by Burnley

Trinity Road Stand - Aston Villa

HITC Sport understands Aston Villa defender Nathan Baker is a target for Burnley as they look to replace Jason Shackell.

HITC Sport understands from sources close to the club that Burnley are lining up a move for highly-rated Aston Villa defender Nathan Baker.

Burnley boss Sean Dyche has identified Baker as his top target to replace former captain Jason Shackell following his move to Championship rivals Derby County earlier this week.

Dyche is a big admirer of Baker and sees the powerful defender as the ideal successor for Shackell as he looks to build a side capable of winning promotion back to the Premier League at the first attempt.

The Clarets are expected to firm up their interest in Baker with a bid as they test Villa's resolve to hang on to the former England Under-21 international

Baker, who joined Villa as a 13-year-old, came through the ranks at Villa Park and was part of the side that won the Premier Academy League in 2007-08 alongside the likes of Ciaran Clark, Andreas Weimann, Barry Bannan, Marc Albrighton and Chris Herd.

The centre-back, who can also play at left-back, made his first-team debut in January 2011 and has gone on to make 88 appearances for Villa.

Register for ASTON VILLA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch