Aston Villa are reportedly ready to join the race for Liverpool target Xherdan Shaqiri.
The fleet-footed winger's profile rose dramatically after he scored a stunning goal against England as Switzerland fell to a 3-1 defeat in the Euro 2012 qualifier in September.
He has since been linked with a move to a number of top European clubs - most notably Liverpool and Juventus - and, according to talkSPORT, Aston Villa are also closely monitoring his progress.
The 19-year-old helped FC Basel to the league and cup double last season in his rookie campaign and - should Villa beat Liverpool to his signature - the Swiss would only add to the battery of young talent currently on display at Villa Park.
Former Liverpool boss Gerard Houllier has been keen to blood as many youngsters during his brief spell with the Villans - something which Villa wideman Marc Albrighton was keen to pay tribute to.
“You can see what he’s doing here. He’s giving all the youngsters a chance and it breeds confidence throughout like he did with the lads at Liverpool," he told talkSPORT.
“When he was there he brought through some great players and he’s doing exactly the same here, he’s developing the young players.
“All we want to do is learn and become better players and hopefully we can do that on the Premier League stage.”
However, Villa are likely to have to fight off the advances of several suitors if they wish to sign Shaqiri - who is good enough to compete at the highest level, according to Basel's sporting director.
Ilya Kentsing said: "Shaqiri is a player for a big team and he could play for any top club," Kentsing said. "But we have no agreement yet with any club."
Shaqiri himself is thought to be keen on a move to England - and to Liverpool in particularly - and it was reported in December that he was hopeful the Reds would revive the interest they had shown in him during Rafa Benitez's tenure at Anfield.
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