Could Aston Villa turn to midfielder they tried to sign in 2012 after Brighton's Beram Kayal agreed a new contract?

Brighton's Beram Kayal looks dejected

Brighton & Hove Albion have another midfielder Aston Villa could target.

Brighton's Beram Kayal looks dejected

While Aston Villa may have to concede defeat in their pursuit of Beram Kayal, there's another Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder they could target in January.

And he's one they should know already, having tried to sign him four years ago during Paul Lambert's reign (Sky Sports).

Like Kayal - until the Israeli signed a new two-and-a-half-year deal on Thursday - Stephens' contract expires at the end of the current campaign, making him a potential bargain for someone next summer.

The 26-year-old has reluctantly agreed to stay with the Seagulls until then, having asked to leave during the previous transfer window.

According to the Sun and the Express, however, a number of Premier League sides, along with Scottish champions Celtic, are ready to try their luck in January, with a £6 million fee mooted.

Villa, too, are likely to want to strengthen in Stephens' position, although whether they are prepared to pay £6 million for a player they could sign for nothing in seven months' time remains to be seen.

Dale Stephens celebrates after scoring the first goal for Brighton

Stephens would certainly improve Steve Bruce's side, however, having been a regular in promotion-chasing teams for consecutive seasons now - as I'm sure new the Villans' new assistant, Colin Calderwood, will testify.

Perhaps Calderwood, who arrived from Brighton this week, will twist Stephens' arm and Villa can finally get their hands on a Seagulls midfielder.

Brighton assistant manager Colin Calderwood

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