Aston Villa have made a late deadline-day move for Liverpool striker Rickie Lambert - and a deal could be finalised before 11pm this evening.
Villa are making a bid of around £5 million for the England international, who may agree to leave Liverpool just eight months after joining the Merseyside outfit from Southampton in order to play regular first-team football, according to the Telegraph.
Liverpool have rejected a number of offers from clubs hoping to sign Lambert on loan for the remainder of the season, but Villa want to sign the 32-year-old striker on a permanent deal.
Villa's lack of goals
Paul Lambert’s side have only scored 11 Premier League goals so far this season, and the Aston Villa boss is optimistic that Rickie Lambert - who scored 28 Premier League goals in his two full seasons in the Premier League with Southampton - is the man to ensure Villa retain their Premier League status come the end of the season.
Villa currently sit three points clear of the relegation zone in 16th position and are without a league win since December 7.
Lambert left Southampton in order to join his boyhood club last summer, but has played a peripheral role at Anfield despite the departure of Luis Suarez and the long-term injury to Daniel Sturridge.
Mario Balotelli has often been preferred to Lambert, although the Italy international is failed to score a single Premier League goal since completing a permanent move from AC Milan in the summer.
Villa move makes sense
Lambert has scored a disappointing three goals in 24 appearances for Liverpool, which threatens to affect his England chances ahead of next month’s Euro 2016 qualifier against Lithuania and the showpiece friendly against Italy at the Juventus Stadium.
A move to Aston Villa should give him the opportunities to force his way back into contention for Roy Hodgson’s next England squad.