Neil Etheridge reportedly wanting to join Aston Villa over Liverpool is major credit to Dean Smith

Aston Villa manager Dean Smith celebrates with assistant manager John Terry (l) following the Sky Bet Championship Play-off Final match between Aston Villa and Derby County at Wembley...

Aston Villa are reportedly moving for goalkeeper Neil Etheridge.

Cardiff City's English-born Filipino goalkeeper Neil Etheridge shouts and gestures during the English Premier League football match between Brighton and Hove Albion and Cardiff City at the...

Aston Villa saw Jed Steer impress in the latter stages of the season, but they're still in the market for a new goalkeeper ahead of their Premier League return.

Steer stepped in for struggling January signing Lovre Kalinic and performed well, but with Kalinic potentially heading out, a new goalkeeper may be targeted.

The main option right now is Cardiff City goalkeeper Neil Etheridge, with Wales Online reporting that Villa's first bid of £8million has been rejected.

 

Now, Wales Online claim that Champions League winners Liverpool have made a surprise approach for Etheridge to backup Alisson – but the 29-year-old actually prefers a move to Villa.

That's a major boost for Villa after their promotion, and whilst playing time will be a major factor for the Philippines international, it's also major credit to boss Dean Smith.

It's stated that Etheridge wants to reunite with Smith and goalkeeping coach Neil Cutler having worked together at Walsall in 2015, giving Villa the edge over Liverpool.

Neil Etheridge of Cardiff City celebrates after teammate Sol Bamba scores their team's second goal during the Premier League match between Cardiff City and Brighton & Hove Albion at the...

That Etheridge would prefer to join newly-promoted Villa over Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool sums up just how highly Smith and Cutler are considered by the goalkeeper, even though they only worked together briefly.

Villa fans would love to beat Liverpool to a signing, especially one as impressive as Etheridge, and it just goes to show the pulling power Smith has with his former players, showcased yesterday with the signing of Jota.

Aston Villa manager Dean Smith celebrates with assistant manager John Terry (l) following the Sky Bet Championship Play-off Final match between Aston Villa and Derby County at Wembley...

Have something to tell us about this article?

Register for ASTON VILLA team updates

Register for LIVERPOOL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch