Aston Villa should go for Mathieu Flamini, not Glenn Whelan

Arsenal's Mathieu Flamini is shown a yellow card by referee Kevin Friend

Aston Villa should bin their plan to sign Glenn Whelan and bring in a free agent instead.

Crystal Palace's Joe Ledley with Mathieu Flamini after the match

If Aston Villa boss Steve Bruce was reading through the list of released Premier League players on Friday then one name might have jumped out at him.

Mathieu Flamini failed to earn a contract extension at Crystal Palace and the former Arsenal man is officially a free agent - but Aston Villa should offer him a home.

Bruce was reported by Sky Sports to have been interested in the 33-year-old way back in 2008.

Arsenal's Mathieu Flamini in action with Barcelona's Andres Iniesta

Nine years on, Flamini, who ended up joining Carlo Ancelotti's AC Milan that year, is hardly the same player as he was almost a decade ago.

But in light of reports that Villa want to sign Stoke City midfielder Glenn Whelan then perhaps a move for the three-time France international makes more sense.

The Mail reported on Saturday that Aston Villa would need to cough up £800,000 for the Republic of Ireland international, after Stoke already rejected a £500,000 offer.

Stoke City's Glenn Whelan in action with Tottenham's Victor Wanyama

But Bruce should shelve those plans and save that £800k for another day by bringing in Flamini, who enjoyed two spells at Arsenal.

SImply put, he is a better midfielder than the Irishman and although Whelan has Championship experience, Flamini would be no shrinking violet in England's second tier.

His personality and playing style suggest that he could be a hit in such a division. Plus, he is two months younger than Whelan, so it is not as if age counts against him.

Neither would be long-term fixes in Aston Villa's midfield. Question is, who is the better short-term option?

Stoke City's Glenn Whelan in action with Crystal Palace's Dwight Gayle

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