Aston Villa are planning an eleventh hour bid to hijack Newcastle United's move for Hull City midfielder Mohamed Diame, HITC Sport understands from sources close to the club.
Newcastle remain favourites for Diame after triggering the Senegal international's release clause at Hull earlier this week.
Hull are reluctant to lose Diame and have also offered the powerful midfielder a new contract in a bid to keep him at the KCOM Stadium.
Managerless Hull do not want to lose the hero from last season's play-off final win over Sheffield Wednesday, but they are powerless to stop him talking to other clubs once his release clause is met.
Newcastle have held talks with Diame and the player has undergone a medical on Tyneside, but Championship rivals Villa are looking to battle the Magpies for the player by tabling a last-gasp bid for the former Wigan Athletic and West Ham United star.
Villa have been quiet in the transfer market so far this summer, but after agreeing a deal for Fulham's Ross McCormack they are now making an attempt to nab Diame from under the noses of Newcastle.
Villa are ready to offer Diame lucrative personal terms to try and lure him to Villa Park, but Newcastle are still in pole position to land the 29-year-old.